Plantar Warts

A wart is a small growth on the skin that develops when the skin is infected by a virus. Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically they appear on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot. Plantar warts most commonly occur in children, adolescent, and the elderly.

There are two types of plantar warts. A solitary wart is a single wart. It often increases in size and may eventually multiply, forming additional “satellite” warts. Mosaic warts are a cluster of several small warts growing closely together in one area Mosaic warts are more difficult to treat then solitary warts.

The symptoms of a Plantar Wart includes:

• Thickened skin often resembling a callus
• Pain at the site of the wart
• Tiny black dots often appear on the surface of the wart
• May start small and grow larger over time

What causes a Plantar Wart?

Plantar warts are caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body.

Although plantar warts may eventually clear up on their own, most patients desire faster relief. The goal of treatment is to completely remove the wart. The podiatrist may use topical or oral treatments, laser therapy, cryotherapy (freezing), acid treatments, or surgery to remove the wart. Regardless of the treatment approaches undertaken, it is important that the patient follow the podiatrist’s instructions, including all home care and medication that has been prescribed, as well as follow-up visits with the surgeon. Warts may return, requiring further treatment.
Although there are many folk remedies for warts, patients should be aware that these remain unproven and may be dangerous. Patients should never try to remove warts themselves. This can do more harm than good.