Plantar Warts (cont.)
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When to Seek Medical Care
Call your doctor if simple home therapy fails to resolve the problem. Usually a primary-care doctor can adequately treat plantar warts. If treatment under a family physician's care fails to work satisfactorily, a referral to a dermatologist (a skin specialist) may be necessary.
Warts will appear over a relatively short period of time in an area where no callus tissue has been noted before. Corns and calluses usually develop very gradually over several years. It is wise to consult a physician when you are unsure whether you have a plantar wart or another condition, such as a corn, callus, nevus (mole), or another type of skin lesion.
Most such growths are harmless, but some may pose a significant health risk. It is also possible for a variety of more serious lesions to appear on the foot, including malignant lesions such as carcinomas and melanomas. Although rare, these conditions can sometimes be misidentified as a wart.
Plantar warts are rarely an emergency; however, the complications of aggressive therapy can be bleeding, severe pain, inability to walk, redness, swelling, streaking, and boil or abscess formation can all indicate an emergency.
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