What Are Signs of Plantar Warts?

woman feeling pain in her footPlantar warts are growths that usually don’t cause any serious problems. However, they can cause discomfort in some cases.

What Are Symptoms of Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are small growths that have a rough texture. They tend to grow on the bottom of feet, especially on or near the heel or close to the base of your toes. Other signs of these warts include the following:

  • Callus that forms if a plantar wart ends up growing inward under the skin
  • Tiny black dots on the wart, which are clusters of clotted blood vessels
  • Lesions that form along the ridges or lines on the bottom of your feet
  • Soreness when you put pressure on the affected foot, by standing up or walking around

What Causes Plantar Warts?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) virus causes warts to grow. You can get HPV if it enters your body through any breaks in your skin on the bottom of your feet. The HPV strain that causes plantar warts is not considered to be contagious, unlike other strains of HPV. While you might not acquire it from other people, you can pick this virus up by walking on damp surfaces, such as pools or in locker rooms.

What Are the Risk Factors for Plantar Warts?

People who have a higher risk of having plantar warts include children, those who have weak immune systems and those who walk around barefoot near pools or in locker rooms.

What Are Treatment Options for Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts can go away without any treatment. In some cases, warts can cause pain that affects the way you stand or walk. Shifting your weight onto your other foot to ease this pain can lead to problems with your muscles or joints. You should seek treatment for plantar warts if they are causing ongoing discomfort or if they don’t go away on their own. You’ll also need treatment for plantar warts if you have developed lesions that change in appearance, bleed or cause pain.

Treatment options for plantar warts include the following:

  • Nonprescription medications that are made for treating plantar warts
  • Prescription medications, such as salicylic acid, that slowly remove warts in layers
  • Freezing medicine that destroys warts by exposing them to cold
  • Laser treatment, minor surgical procedures or immune therapy to stimulate your immune system to fight the warts

Keep in mind that you should seek treatment for even minor plantar warts that don’t cause pain if you have an underlying medication condition, such as diabetes.

If you have any signs of plantar warts, please contact Northeastern Foot & Ankle to make an appointment.