For most people, plantar warts are simply annoying and slightly painful. For somebody with diabetes, plantar warts provide another level of danger. A plantar wart, typically found on the ball of the foot or near the heel, looks a lot like a regular callus. Some of the warts have small black dots, and they may also occur in groups.
Plantar warts are caused by a virus on the skin known as HPV (human papillomavirus). The virus tends to enter the skin through cuts, irritations, and other openings in the skin. Wet conditions do not help either. They typically occur on the foot and can be contagious. People with weak immune systems and those who walk around barefoot are the most common victims of plantar warts.
Danger to Diabetic Patients
A diabetic person should never use an over-the-counter medication or treatment to heal the plantar wart. Stay away from freezing, salicylic acid, and laser surgery.
Diabetes often leads to extreme foot concerns because of its link to neuropathy (poor function of nerves). Nerve issues may cause tingling or pain already on its own. Ultimately, you may lose all feeling in your toes. These issues can also make it difficult to feel the pain of a plantar wart. For this reason, it is important to look over the feet regularly for possible growths and lesions.
Diabetes is also linked to decreased blood circulation to the feet. This condition means that you do not have enough blood flowing to the feet to allow for proper healing of a sore or infection. Without proper healing, you may experience gangrene. If treatment does not work for gangrene, a doctor may look at amputation as the best course of action.
Preventing Plantar Warts
Diabetic people need to do their best to avoid plantar warts. This includes washing feet regularly and always wearing footwear. You need to be on the lookout for cuts, redness, sores, blisters, ingrown nails, warts, and more. Never try to cut plantar warts and other foot growths, and never use liquid removers to remove anything from the feet.
It is also important to look at the type of shoes you wear. Walking shoes are a good choice, but they should always allow for breathing. Soggy shoes may lead to foot issues and infection.
If you are diabetic and believe you have a plantar wart or other foot concern, it is essential that you speak with a doctor right away. Plantar warts are common, but they are hard to treat even for those without diabetes. To learn more, you may want to do some personal research on diabetic foot care.