Plantar Warts

What are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are rough, grainy growths on the soles of the feet, caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They often develop on the heels or balls of the feet, areas that feel the most pressure. This pressure may also cause plantar warts to grow inward beneath a hard, thick layer of skin (callus). Plantar warts are contagious and typically contracted in damp environments like communal showers or swimming pools. While not generally a serious health concern, they can be uncomfortable or even painful.

What are signs & symptoms of Plantar Warts?

Key signs and symptoms of plantar warts include:

  • A small, grainy growth on the bottom of the foot
  • Hard, thickened skin (callus) over a well-defined “spot” on the skin, where the wart has grown inward
  • Black pinpoints, often called wart seeds, which are small, clotted blood vessels
  • A lesion on the foot that interrupts the normal lines and ridges in the skin
  • Pain or tenderness when walking or standing

What are some treatments and uses for Plantar Warts?

Treatment options for plantar warts include:

  • Salicylic acid preparations to peel away the wart
  • Cryotherapy (freezing) to destroy the wart tissue
  • Minor surgery to cut away the wart tissue
  • Laser treatment to burn and destroy wart tissue
  • Immune therapy to stimulate the body’s immune system to fight the wart

In many cases, plantar warts may eventually go away without treatment. However, if they are painful, spreading, or persistent, consulting a healthcare provider or dermatologist is recommended for appropriate treatment.