Cystic warts, also called plantar epidermoid cysts or epidermal cysts, are warts that develop on the soles of your feet. Here are three things diabetics need to know about cystic warts.
What are the signs of cystic warts?
Cystic warts develop on the weight-bearing areas of the soles of your feet. If the nerves in your feet are damaged due to your diabetes, you may not feel the presence of the warts, but you'll be able to see them during your daily foot inspections.
These warts usually present as smooth nodules. In some cases, the warts can become hyperkeratotic, which means that the outer layer of the wart becomes hard, like a callus or a corn.
Why are cystic warts a concern?
If you still have feeling in your feet, these warts may feel swollen or tender. This can lead to pain and discomfort when you're standing or walking.
In rare cases, cystic warts can become infected. This is a concern for people with diabetes because diabetes weakens your immune system and increases your risk of getting infections. This happens because high glucose levels activate your immune system cells and tire them out, leaving them less able to fight off real threats. If your warts become infected, the infection may spread to other areas of your foot and may even lead to problems like gangrene or sepsis.
Treating cystic warts is also a concern. Like other foot problems you develop, it's not safe to try to treat cystic warts by yourself. The risk of getting an infection or suffering from slow-healing wounds is too great, so be sure to see your podiatrist for monitored treatment.
What treatments are available for cystic warts?
Cystic warts are usually surgically removed. Your podiatrist will first numb the area around the wart, and then cut it away with a scalpel. Once the wart has been removed, your podiatrist will stitch the wound closed. As long as the entire wart is successfully removed during surgery, it shouldn't recur.
After your surgery, regular follow-up visits with your podiatrist will be required. Your podiatrist will check your surgical site to make sure that it's healing properly and not getting infected. To help your wound heal, eat a healthy diet and make sure that your blood sugar levels are within their recommended range.
Cystic warts can be dangerous for diabetics, so if you discover one during your daily food check, show it to a podiatrist like Orvitz Podiatry Clinic podiatrist right away.