What is a plantar wart?
A plantar wart is a flat, rough, hard lump on the bottom of your foot. Plantar warts are most common in children and young adults, but anyone can get them. You may have a plantar wart for a few months or years.
What causes plantar warts?
Plantar warts are caused by a germ called human papillomavirus or HPV. HPV can enter the skin through cuts or scratches on the plantar area (bottom) of the foot. The virus infects the skin and causes some of the skin cells to grow too fast. This thick overgrowth of skin cells makes a plantar wart. Picking or scratching the wart may cause the virus to spread.
What are the signs and symptoms of plantar warts?
- A plantar wart may be gray, brown, or the same color as your skin. It usually has blood vessels on it that look like tiny dark dots. You may have one plantar wart or a cluster of them. Your plantar wart may start small, but can grow larger.
- A plantar wart often appears flat on the bottom of your foot. A plantar wart can grow deep into the skin and may cause pain when walking or standing. It may feel like a small rock in your shoe when you stand on it.
How are plantar warts treated?
Since many warts disappear in time, you may wait for your wart to go away. You may try using over-the-counter (OTC) wart medicine bought at a drug or grocery store. Your OTC wart medicine may come as a liquid, gel, or medicine pad. Always read label instructions carefully before using OTC wart medicine. Some people keep their wart covered with duct tape or adhesive tape to try to make it go away. If your wart is painful or does not go away, you may need to receive treatments from our doctor.
The most effective way is surgically remove warts. Before surgery, our doctor will give you skin numbing medicine. During surgery, our doctor may cut away the wart tissue with a scalpel (surgery knife). Then your caregiver may burn the wart and its blood vessels with an electric needle. Electricity goes into the needle to heat it, but does not go into your body.