A wart is a small growth on the skin that develops when the skin is infected by a virus. Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically they appear on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot.
There are two types of plantar warts:
- A solitary wart. It often increases in size and may eventually multiply, forming additional “satellite” warts.
- Mosaic warts are a cluster of several small warts growing closely together in one area. Mosaic warts are more difficult to treat than solitary warts.
Plantar warts are caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body.
- The symptoms of a plantar wart may include:
- Thickened skin.
- Often a plantar wart resembles a callus because of its tough, thick tissue.
- Walking and standing may be painful. Squeezing the sides of the wart may also cause pain.
- Tiny black dots.
- These often appear on the surface of the wart. The dots are actually dried blood contained in the capillaries (tiny blood vessels).
- Plantar warts grow deep into the skin. Usually this growth occurs slowly, with the wart starting small and becoming larger over time.
Diagnosis and Treatment
- To diagnose a plantar wart, the foot nurse will examine the patient’s foot and look for signs and symptoms of a wart.
- Although plantar warts may eventually clear up on their own, most patients desire faster relief. The goal of treatment is to completely remove the wart.
- The foot nurse may use topical or oral treatments remove the wart as well as scheduled debridement of dead wart tissue.
- Regardless of the treatment approaches undertaken, it is important that the patient follow the instructions, including all home care, as well as follow-up visits with the foot nurse. Warts may return, requiring further treatment.
- We have been treating warts for over a decade in our office with great success.