Plantar Warts: What You Should Know

Plantar warts are extremely common, especially amongst children. They are small growths that usually appear on the heels or other weight-bearing areas of the foot. Being that they are on weight-bearing areas of the foot, the pressure may also cause plantar warts to grow beneath a hard, thick layer of the foot.

What Causes Plantar Warts?

The culprit of the strain of plantar warts is HPV, or otherwise known as human papillomavirus. Keep in mind, many strains of this virus exist, and this type is not the same kind that causes warts from unprotected sex. Plantar warts are caused by the virus entering the body through tiny cuts, breaks, or other weak spots on the bottom of your feet.

Diagnosing Plantar Warts

Many people mistake plantar warts for other growths on the skin, but they are completely harmless. They are extremely small and on average are the size of a pencil eraser, but some of them can grow bigger. Sometimes they grow in clusters, which are called mosaics.

Sometimes corns or calluses are mistaken for palmer or plantar warts. In some warts, little black dots appear, which is how they also got a name for “seed warts”. But, the little black dots are actually blood vessels that have grown up into the wart.

Treating Plantar Warts

Deciding how to treat plantar warts varies from person to person. There are a variety of treatment methods ranging from more natural approaches to burning and freezing with liquid nitrogen. Your doctor will be the best source of information when deciding how to treat plantar warts. There is also over-the-counter medication for plantar warts, but they are only usually 50% effective.

We highly recommend that you do not try and remove them yourself because you can create lesions that could be subject to more plantar warts. Please see a doctor if your warts become greater in size, start bleeding, or are causing pain. If you think that you have plantar warts, please schedule an appointment with us so we can diagnose and treat them. At Total Foot Care and Wellness, we treat a variety of conditions like plantar warts.