Plantar Wart

Plantar warts are common warts that affect the bottom of the feet. Most people will have one at some point in their lives. Plantar warts, officially named verrucae warts, are caused by HPV, specifically types 1, 2, 4, 60, and 63. The virus attacks the skin on the bottom of the feet.


Plantar warts can be extremely painful. One of the first symptoms you may notice is pain or tenderness when putting pressure on your foot while walking.


Once the wart has formed, you’ll see a circular flat spot on the skin with a depressed area in the middle. The wart may appear yellowed, with a crust, or even have a black spot in the middle.


Underneath the skin, the wart can have callused, finger-like roots that reach down and grow.


In some cases, a plantar wart will resolve naturally. Other cases may require treatment. You can treat a plantar wart a few different ways, either by seeing your doctor or treating the wart at home. 


Treatments include:

  • salicylic acid cream, a topical cream that can "burn" off the wart
  • liquid nitrogen, which can be used to “freeze” off the wart
  • curettage, which involves cutting out the wart
  • medicine applied directly to the wart
  • laser therapy to burn off the blood vessels that feed the wart


Salicylic acid cream and liquid nitrogen are the most common treatments. Both require multiple treatments over several weeks to get rid of the wart or warts.


Prevention:

To prevent a plantar wart, consider the following tips:

  • Always cover your feet in shared community spaces, such as pools, locker rooms, or dorms.
  • Keep the wart covered and wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading plantar warts to other people.