Plantar Wart

A plantar wart, also known as verruca, is a small growth on the skin that develops when the skin becomes infected by a virus. Plantar warts are caused by direct contact with human papilloma virus, more commonly known as HPV, which invades the skin through small or invisible cuts and
abrasions. This virus thrives in warm, moist environments.

Like any other infectious legion, plantar warts are spread by touching, scratching, or by contact with skin shed from another wart.

Generally, there are two types of plantar warts:

  • Solitary Wart: a single wart that may increase in size, and potentially multiply in number.
  • Mosaic Warts: a cluster of several small warts, growing closely in one area. This is generally more difficult to treat.

Preventative Measures

  • Avoid direct contact with warts, both from other persons or from other parts of the body.
  • Avoid walking barefoot.
  • Change your shoes and socks daily.
  • Check your children’s feet periodically.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry

Symptoms

Typically, these warts develop on the bottom of the foot, although they can occur anywhere. This manifests on the soles of the feet. This soft tissue condition tends to be hard and flat, with a rough surface and well-defined boundaries. Due to the similar appearance in the two diagnoses, plantar warts are mistaken for corns or calluses. Symptoms may include:

  • Thickened skin
  • Raised and fleshy bump
  • Pain
  • Small black dots that appear on the surface of the wart. (This is actually dried blood contained in the capillaries)

Most foot warts are harmless, even though they can be painful.

Treatment

Nonsurgical:

Typically, the doctor will recommend more than one of the following options. Due to the stubborn nature of warts, oftentimes repeated and consistent treatment is crucial to complete removal.

  • Topical treatments
  • Oral medications
  • Cryotherapy (freezing)
  • Acid treatments
  • Debridement, or shaving down the wart

Surgical:

If the wart, or cluster of warts is exceptionally stubborn, a wart removal surgery will help to eliminate all infected skin tissue. This is done in certain, severe cases, but is a very effective approach.