Plantar warts, also known as verrucae plantaris, are warts that appear on the bottom of the feet, often in areas that bear weight like the heels, toes, and the middle of the foot. These warts can be particularly painful and difficult to treat because walking puts pressure on them, causing them to grow inward. Sometimes, many warts can grow together, forming what is known as mosaic warts. It can be hard to tell plantar warts apart from corns or calluses. Corns are hard skin that forms over joints from pressure and rubbing. They have a hard core and do not have the small black dots that warts do. Soft corns form in moist areas between toes due to pressure and rubbing. Another condition often mistaken for plantar warts is black heel, which can be seen in athletes like tennis or basketball players. This is where tiny blood vessels break, causing small black or brown spots on the heel or side of the foot. Carefully removing the top layer of skin can help separate this condition from warts, calluses, corns, and serious issues such as malignant melanoma. If you have what appears to be a wart on your foot, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
About Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.
While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.
- Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
- Hard or thick callused spots
- Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
- Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing
- Electric tool removal
- Laser Treatment
- Topical Creams (prescription only)
- Over-the-counter medications
To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.