What are Mosaic Warts?
Mosaic warts are also known as verrucae or recalcitrant plantar warts. This form of plantar warts appears on the soles of the feet in groups, especially under the toes. As with any other warts, they can heal by themselves even without treatment. However, this may be discomforting or painful when left untreated for a long time.
Cause of Mosaic Warts
All warts, including Mosaic warts, are caused by the human papillomavirus. Keratinocytes, cells found in the epidermis that produce keratin, are infected by the virus which causes a portion of the skin to have bumps. Infection of HPV is obtained through direct skin contact with an HPV-infected person, either the person has warts or not. Mosaic warts may also be acquired from places where it’s warm, moist and poorly maintained, like public pools and washrooms or poorly maintained spas. This case normally happens when a person walks barefoot in these areas because the HPV goes inside the small openings in the skin.
Symptoms of Mosaic Warts
You’ll commonly see them on the soles of the feet, and they look like accumulated and clustered plantar warts. However, if you only see one wart on the soles of your feet, then it is called a solitary wart, which is another type of plantar wart. Other symptoms, apart from the one mentioned earlier are listed below:
- Instead of growing outwards like other warts, they grow inwards causing pain when doing activities where a pressure is applied, like standing, walking and running.
- They can be mistaken as corns, which are thickened skin on where a pressure point is, because of its rough surface and bumps. If you are unsure whether it’s a corn or mosaic warts, have it consulted by the doctor. The doctor may use a file to reduce the size of the lesion to see inside if it’s a wart or not.
- If not a corn, you may also confuse it with a plantar callus, a thickened portion of the outermost layer of the skin and it thickens when friction is frequently applied in a certain area.
- On the center of the lesions of mosaic warts, you’ll see a tiny black spot. The spots are what we call clotted blood vessels or commonly known as seeds.
Prevention from Acquiring Mosaic Warts
For you to be able to lessen the chances of acquiring mosaic warts or its recurrence, avoid getting in contact with warts. A single, even a slight, touch can infect you with HPV and will possibly grow warts. If you already have initially acquired HPV and have grown warts, do not touch your warts. If you accidentally touched warts, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Also, avoid picking or scratching your warts at all costs. Not only will you potentially infect other parts of your body but warts that are picked will spread and grow even more.
Since warts thrive in warm and moist areas, make sure that you replace the socks that you wear every day. Always wear footwear anywhere you go, especially in public swimming pools and shower rooms. If you initially have warts and you file it with a pumice stone or any other tools, make sure that it is always cleaned and sanitized before and after use and avoid using the same tools for other uses in a healthy area in your body.
Mosaic Warts Treatment
As mentioned earlier, warts, including Mosaic warts, are skin infection that does not need treatment for it to be removed. However, the downside is that it takes a few months to years before its removed. The reason why most people wanted It removed is because of its unsightly look and, for the case of Mosaic warts, it’s discomforting and painful. When treating mosaic warts, it could be very troublesome and difficult because you wouldn’t be able to walk comfortably while treating warts under the foot. The downside for most treatments is that the healed lesions may show scars. Before using any methods or treatments, consult with your doctor first and discuss its possible side effects and better options you can choose.
Topical Wart Treatment
For mosaic warts that have mildly grown, you may be prescribed to use topical cream like, Imiquimod or 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU). You may also be prescribed to use the topical treatment combined with salicylic acid.
Laser Wart Removal
Laser treatment is one of the most common options used to remove warts and this is also the most expensive. This form of treatment can be painful, and the pain varies on how wide the area being treated. Advanced laser treatments have lesser chances of scarring.
Cryotherapy Wart Removal
This method uses liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide as cryogenic to freeze warts so that they would blister. The method is quite painful, especially for mosaic warts. To completely remove warts, the process may take 2-4 sessions.
This method can be discomforting and painful, but local anesthesia is administered to the patient won’t feel the pain during the process. This may be recommended when mosaic warts have grown bigger and deeper and is already causing so much pain. This method can cause scarring of the treated area.
The use of Salicylic acid in treating warts is one of the most common treatments. What the medication does is it exfoliates warts’ dead skins and helps activate the immune response which will then fight off the virus. To use the Salicylic acid in treating Mosaic warts, prepare warm water in a basin and place your feet on the basin and submerge warts in the water. File the dead skin off warts by using either a pumice stone or emery board. Lastly, apply a good amount of Salicylic acid solution directly on the wart. Do this method every bedtime until the warts are completely removed.
There are various medications that can be used to inject directly on Mosaic warts. What it can possibly do is activate immune response which helps a lot in the permanent removal of warts. Medications that can be injected are Bleomycin or Candida.