Public Health and Primary CareREVIEW

Plantar Warts: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Clinical Management

Dexter Jordan Witchey, MPAS, PA-C; Nichole Brianne Witchey, MPAS, PA-C; Michele Marie Roth-Kauffman, JD, MPAS, PA-C; and Mark Kevin Kauffman, DO, MS
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: August 15, 2017

Accepted: August 23, 2017

Published: February 1, 2018

J Osteopath Med; 118(2): 92-105

Verrucae plantaris (plantar warts) are common cutaneous lesions of the plantar aspect of the foot that are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Ubiquitous in our environment, asymptomatic infection with HPV occurs frequently, with most infections controlled or cleared by cellular and humoral immune responses. However, certain populations have been observed to manifest plantar warts at higher rates compared with the general population, placing them at increased risk for wart-induced pain and complications. Plantar warts shed HPV, which can then infect other sites in the plantar region or spread to other people. Although controlling risk factors is useful in preventing infection, the pervasive nature of HPV makes these preventive measures frequently impractical. This article discusses the role of achieving dopamine homeostasis as part of a comprehensive biopsychosocial treatment strategy in the effective management of addiction. The authors aim to motivate osteopathic primary care physicians to incorporate osteopathic philosophy into the treatment of patients with substance use disorders. Given the high propensity for treatment resistance of plantar warts and no established, practical, and reliable method of prevention, HPV prophylaxis for populations that demonstrate high rates of plantar warts may be of benefit in controlling the spread of lesions.

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