Understanding and watching out for the Papilloma Virus

A papilloma is a skin lesion caused by a viral infection. The papilloma can be located in any area of ​​the body infecting skin and mucous membranes. When it is located on the foot it is also known as plantar wart.

The papilloma sometimes appears covered with callosity, which makes it difficult to diagnose with the naked eye, since it can be confused with a simple callus. It is of variable size, being able to present itself as the head of a pin or have the diameter of a quarter. Papilloma always begins as a small lesion that is confused with a callus or blister. As the months go by, the papilloma grows larger and can even infect nearby areas and create a kind of papilloma colony.

At first glance, it is distinguished as a callosity of variable size, sometimes surrounded by a slightly whitish ring than the rest of the lesion, and sometimes small black or brown spots can be seen through the lesion. These points are hypertrophied capillaries that are found in a certain layer of the skin.

The skin has several layers, the most general classification being to divide it into dermis and epidermis. The dermis is the deepest layer and is the layer that produces the skin itself, that is, the cells that make up the skin are born in it. In this layer is an area called papillary dermis whose morphology is similar to the silhouette of a mountain range. This is the layer that is affected by the papillomavirus.

Papilloma virus can affect any area of ​​the foot, but it is more normal to find it on the sole, and especially on the heel. This circumstance is merely statistical, since a papilloma can be in any area of ​​the foot: between the toes, in the arch of the foot, under the nail, etc.

Why does it occur?

The virus that causes human papilloma is papillomavirus. This type of virus has different subtypes and each one causes a different infection. Fortunately, in most cases the lesions are benign and are only dangerous in certain locations such as genital papilloma.

Papillomaviruses are a genus of the papovavirus family. Papillomaviruses are small viruses 52-54um in diameter. The human papillomavirus comprises a family of more than 70 types of viruses.

Production mechanisms

The mechanism of papilloma production is due to the infection process caused by the virus. Heat and humidity are factors that substantially help the infection to occur, since they dilate the pores of the skin thus facilitating the penetration of the virus.

The onset of the disease begins with the contact of the skin of the person's foot with the virus. This circumstance is facilitated by the existence of some fissure of the skin that helps inoculate the virus. Traumatized areas with much more sensitive to suffer from this type of infections since there is a greater probability that there is a break in the skin even if it is microscopic.

 

Heat and humidity are factors that substantially help the infection to occur, since they dilate the pores of the skin thus facilitating the penetration of the virus.

On the other hand, the aqueous medium produces maceration in the skin, a fact that contributes to making the skin more vulnerable to the virus. This circumstance explains that papilloma virus spread easily in showers, swimming pools, gyms and in general areas where people usually walk barefoot and there is moisture.

Excessive sweating is another factor that helps the skin is more unprotected and facilitates infection. Once the virus has penetrated the integrity of the skin, it attacks the dermis cells and enters them, modifying their genetic information and parasitizing it. This circumstance makes the treatment of these lesions complicated since to kill the virus we will have to kill the cell that contains it or intervene in the process in which the virus passes from one cell to another.

The papilloma has an incubation period that ranges from 6 to 18 months with an average of 9. This condition causes the infection to have occurred before the time the wart itself occurs. This explains its appearance in months after summer vacations or the hottest months when you usually walk barefoot or visit beaches or swimming pools.

After the incubation period, the papilloma presents as a callosity of variable size, sometimes surrounded by a slightly whitish ring than the rest of the lesion, and sometimes small black or brown spots can be seen through the skin that it covers. These points are hypertrophied capillaries that are found in a certain layer of the skin.

Symptoms of papilloma

The virus infection causes the appearance of a lesion covered and surrounded by a more thickened than normal skin. This circumstance often causes it to be confused with a calluses. Around the wart a ring can be distinguished that delimits it from normal skin and that can be a little whitish. Through the skin that covers it you can see black spots that are thrombosed capillaries.

The size of the wart is variable and the color approaches yellow-brown. Often a reddened area may appear.

It is generally believed that papilloma virus are very painful, but this is not always the case. When the wart is in areas of support or pressure of the foot, they are painful, but if they are located in pressure-free areas they can be painless. Papilloma virus hurt more if we pinch them than if we press them directly, and this circumstance often differentiates them from a calluses.

They can be found in any area of ​​the foot although it is more common to appear in areas of pressure or friction.

Diagnosis

 

To make an exact diagnosis of the lesion it is necessary to perform a biopsy of the skin where it is located and send it to an anatomic-pathological study, which consists in studying the skin microscopically using various agents that color different areas of it. Apart from the biopsy study, papilloma can be diagnosed according to the way it is presented.

To differentiate it from a callosity, what is known as the ring sign is useful. It consists of pinching the wart, and if the pain is increased substantially with respect to the pain caused by the pressure, there are chances that it is a plantar wart.

It can also be differentiated by observing whether black spots are visible or not, since papilloma virus have this appearance due to thrombosis of the skin capillaries.

The podiatrist can make a diagnosis by scalping the warped area until these black spots are found, which usually bleed when this level is reached.

Other more specific diagnostic methods consist of interpretation tests of the tissue response, protein or antibody detection tests and viral identification tests.

How to avoid it?

  • To prevent the spread of papilloma virus I should take into account:
  • Never walk barefoot on beaches, swimming pools, common showers or gyms.
  • Do not exchange shoes or socks with family, friends or at work.
  • Do not get your foot wet in swimming pools or in common showers if you have a wound or scratch on your foot.
  • Wear wool, thread or cotton socks and avoid using synthetic fibers.
  • Do not wear footwear that prevents proper foot perspiration and keeps the foot moist.
  • Use a foot deodorant regularly after daily hygiene.
  • Wash your foot every day and if you sweat a lot twice and change your socks every day.
  • Dry the foot carefully after bathing or showering to prevent maceration.
  • Go to the podiatrist if I have calluses or hardness, so that it differentiates them from possible papilloma virus.