What Is a Plantar Wart?
A plantar wart is a small lesion on the skin typically forming on the foot’s underside due to a viral infection. These types of warts are prevalent among children, teens, and the elderly.
Plantar warts come in two varieties:
- A solitary wart is an individual wart that may grow and potentially lead to the development of additional warts nearby.
- Mosaic warts consist of several small warts clustered together in a specific area and are more challenging to treat than solitary warts.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for the development of plantar warts, the same virus that causes warts on other parts of your body.
Plantar wart symptoms include:
- Thickened skin: It might look similar to a callus due to its rough, thick texture.
- Discomfort: Patients may experience pain when walking or standing. Pain can also be felt when squeezing the wart’s sides.
- Tiny black dots: Often seen on the wart’s surface, these dots are small, dried blood accumulated in the blood vessels. Plantar warts penetrate deep into the skin’s layers and typically grow larger progressively.
Diagnosis & Treatment
A foot and ankle surgeon will diagnose a plantar wart by examining the foot for characteristic features of a wart.
While plantar warts can sometimes resolve on their own, many seek quicker solutions. Complete wart removal is the primary objective of treatment.
Removal methods include various treatments such as topical or oral medications, laser therapy, cryotherapy (freezing), acid applications, or surgical excision.
Patients must adhere to the surgeon’s recommendations, including home care, medications, and follow-up appointments. Warts can reoccur, which might necessitate additional interventions.
If treatments do not work, further examinations are warranted. The surgeon might conduct a biopsy to exclude other causes for the growth.
Patients should be skeptical of folk remedies as their effectiveness and safety are not verified. Self-removal of warts is discouraged as it can be detrimental.