Plantar Warts: Signs and Treatment

You may be more familiar with warts that develop on your fingers, but warts can also grow on your feet. Foot warts are called plantar warts, and although they can grow on any part of the foot, they typically develop on the foot’s bottom surface.

For many people, just the thought of having warts is embarrassing. But since plantar warts are under your foot where no one can see them, is it important to do anything about them?

Dr. Jarna Rathod-Bhatt and Dr. Rahul Bhatt are our skilled podiatrists at Apple Podiatry Group, and they answer with a resounding “Yes!” that plantar warts do indeed need to be treated. Here, we provide a thorough overview of plantar warts and the effective treatment options we provide.

What is a plantar wart?

At first blush you may be thinking, “Tt’s just a wart, so what's the big deal?” But unlike other warts, plantar warts can be painful and make walking difficult.

Warts are caused by viruses. Plantar warts are caused when a break in your skin on your foot comes in contact with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warm communal settings where you’re likely to be walking barefoot -- like gym showers, locker rooms, pool decks, and saunas -- are typical areas where people can be infected. 

Plantar warts are more common in school-aged children. In fact, although 10% of the population experiences warts, but that number jumps as high as 20% in school-aged children. 

Warts are also more common among immunosuppressed adults. Plantar warts may be stubborn to treat, which makes them particularly concerning for people with diabetes and/or poor circulation, because their natural healing abilities are diminished.

What plantar warts look like

Knowing what to look for is the first step to getting your plantar warts treated. Plantar warts can emerge as a single wart or a cluster of several warts called mosaic warts. Initially they may just look like a callous, since the lesion looks and feels like thickened skin.

To tell the difference between calluses and plantar warts, look for small black dots on the surface that signal a wart. The dots are caused by dried blood from tiny blood vessels.

Get faster relief through treatment

If you take a sit-it-out-and-wait approach, plantar warts will grow inward and become increasingly uncomfortable, making walking and even standing painful. The warts can continue to spread as well. You may be tempted to try that DIY remedy you saw on the internet, but we don’t recommend it, because it may do more harm than good.

Effective treatment is available

Fortunately, you need not suffer. There are several effective in-office and at-home treatment options available. The first step is to have us do a thorough plantar wart exam so that we can create a treatment plan that’s right for you.

We may recommend treatment options such as prescription antiviral creams, medicated wart pads, and antiviral injections. We also offer wart removal by freezing the wart (cryotherapy) or destroying it with an electric needle (electrosurgery and curettage).

We offer same-day treatment for plantar warts right in our office. We’ll not only send you home with home care instructions to facilitate the healing of your warts, but also with information on ways to prevent future outbreaks.

If painful plantar warts are cramping your style, see how our team at Apple Podiatry Group can help. Contact us for a plantar wart evaluation. Book an appointment while you’re online now, or you can call one of our offices in Arlington or Irving, Texas.

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