Plantar warts are a common foot problem that can be both unsightly and uncomfortable. Our highly skilled podiatrists have extensive experience in diagnosing and many ways to treat plantar warts. Here’s what you need to know about this condition:
Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which enters the body through tiny cuts, breaks, or other weak spots in skin, typically on the bottom of the foot. The virus thrives in warm, moist environments such as locker rooms and public pools. The risk of developing plantar warts is increased in people with weakened immune systems or those who have a history of warts.
Plantar warts can be identified by their appearance, which includes:
Small, grainy bumps on the bottom of the foot
A rough, thickened area of skin over the wart
Tiny black dots on the surface of the wart, which are actually small blood vessels
Plantar warts can be painful, especially when pressure is applied to the affected area. They can also spread to other areas of the foot if left untreated.
There are several treatment options for plantar warts, including:
Topical medications: A podiatrist may prescribe a topical medication containing salicylic acid or other ingredients to help dissolve the wart. These medications work best when used in combination with regular debridement or removal of the wart tissue.
Cryotherapy: In this procedure, liquid nitrogen is applied to the wart to freeze and destroy the affected tissue. Multiple treatments may be required to completely remove the wart.
Dry needling: This procedure completed under local anesthetic, involves the use of small needles to damage the wart tissue to stimulate an immune response within the body to fight the virus.
Surgical removal: In some cases, a podiatrist may recommend surgical removal of the wart. This is typically reserved for large or painful warts that have not responded to other treatments.
To prevent plantar warts, it is important to:
Avoid walking barefoot in public areas such as locker rooms and pool decks.
Wear flip-flops or other protective footwear in public areas.
Keep feet clean and dry to reduce the risk of infection.
Avoid sharing socks, shoes, or other footwear with others.