Plantar warts: causes, symptoms and treatment

Last update: 23 October 2021

Plantar warts: causes, symptoms and treatment

A viral infection is what causes a plantar wart, which is a skin lesion. It can either stay dormant for years or develop and spread quickly. It’s a contagious skin condition that affects you and those around you.

The HPV, or human papillomavirus, creates these lesions. Despite the fact that it is a harmless virus, it is recommended that you get treatment as soon as possible to get rid of it.

Symptoms

The plantar wart frequently appears as a tiny, rough, spherical, and flat lump. It will manifest itself in a variety of ways.

  • Appearance: it consists of spongy, brownish or yellowish tissue with small black dots;
  • Size: it can measure from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter;
  • Pain: plantar warts can be painful, even though they are uncommon. Friction or a pressure point can produce this type of pain, which can become severe;
  • Posture problem: the foot pain caused by the plantar wart can lead to a foot positioning problem and cause other issues.

The various types of plantar warts

The virus that produces plantar warts can give them a distinctive look. Myrmecia and mosaic warts are the two most common kinds of plantar warts.

  • Myrmecia, often known as single plantar wart, is the most common kind of plantar wart. It’s easy to spot because of its horn ring and the pain it produces as you walk.
  • Mosaic warts are rarely unpleasant, although they can spread in areas throughout the foot’s surface.

A plantar wart, regardless of its appearance, must be treated or it may spread to others.

What causes plantar warts

Plantar warts are a highly infectious skin condition. It is therefore critical to understand the origins of the infection in order to prevent it from spreading in your daily life.

  • Skin to skin: direct contact of the epidermis with an infected person can be enough to transmit the virus to another individual.
  • Indirect contact: plantar warts can be spread by just touching contaminated things (such as shoes, sandals, or socks).
  • Self-contagion: a person who is infected is said to be “self-contagious.” If they scrape or bleed one or more warts, they will increase their risk.

Because a plantar wart is often a superficial benign lesion, it is not a condition that is likely to become serious. A visit to a podiatrist, on the other hand, should not be neglected.

Risk factors

Aside from infectious conditions, some variables might encourage the virus that causes plantar warts to develop. It’s also more prevalent in specific demographics.

  • Someone who has a lot of perspiration on their feet: the moisture buildup encourages the virus to grow.
  • Someone with extremely dry or cracked skin: a cracked sole can allow the virus that causes plantar warts to enter the body.
  • Someone with a weaker immune system: this is the case of a patient suffering from diabetes, HIV or who is undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Teenagers and children: They bathe more frequently, exposing their foot to more germs.

Preventing plantar warts

There are a few things you can do to avoid developing plantar warts, especially if you often visit public locations. It’s also possible to be cautious if you’re seeing a podiatrist for therapy.

  • Avoid walking barefoot: Keep slippers or shoes in public facilities such as the gym, pool, public showers, and other communal spaces.
  • Cover infected areas: If you aren’t getting treatment for a plantar wart, it’s best to hide it.
  • Keep your feet dry: Air your feet regularly. This is especially true for people who have a lot of foot sweat.
  • Wash your feet with soap: If you’ve just gone barefoot in a public location, don’t be hesitant to clean your heels and toes with soap straight away.
  • Wear cotton socks or other natural fibres: To avoid moisture accumulation, change your socks regularly.

Plantar wart remedies at home

Plantar warts can be treated in a variety of ways to reduce the risk of infection. These remedies are frequently available over the counter and may be used at home.

  • Salicylic acid: When applied to plantar warts on a frequent basis, it might eventually burn them out. It can, however, burn the skin around them. As a result, use it with care. Consult a doctor at once if your warts develop or proliferate.
  • Soaking your feet in a solution of baking soda and sea salt: This will disinfect and soften the wart.

Although it is occasionally feasible to remove a plantar wart on your own, the podiatrist recommends against doing so:

  • Filing: Filing or sanding your warts is not recommended. Trauma to the surrounding skin can transmit the virus, causing your warts to spread and develop.
  • Sharp objects: Using a sharp object to remove the wart is not advised. This might make the lesion worse and perhaps cause infection.
  • Corrosive substances: Avoid using products that aren’t specifically designed to treat plantar warts.

Plantar wart treatment by a podiatrist

Even if warts do vanish on their own for some people, this is not the case for everyone. This is why you should see a podiatrist.

He or she will suggest a number of treatments to help you get rid of your condition.

  • Prescription medications: A podiatrist can prescribe at-home treatments that are absolutely painless.
  • Cryotherapy: This treatment aims to destroy the recalcitrant wart by applying liquid nitrogen cooled to -196 degrees
  • Canthacur PS: A treatment that does not cause unpleasant scars behind the foot and may be used on children under the age of ten, causing little discomfort.
  • Pharmaceutical treatments: Some treatments, such as needle-free intradermal injections of bleomycin sulphate for persistent warts, can be performed by a podiatrist. This technique usually only takes one or two treatments per wart.

Laser or minor surgery: This is a method to remove plantar warts that are recalcitrant to all other treatments.

FootNetwork – Learn more

Are you interested in learning more about plantar warts? It’s something we write about a good deal!

However, while the FootNetwork website provides a wealth of information about foot pathology, it is not a replacement for a visit with a podiatrist.

Take care of your feet, they’re precious!

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest innovations in podiatry.

We use cookies to operate and improve our services. Respecting your privacy is important to us. See our privacy policy.

I understand
FootNetwork