Plantar warts

Plantar warts are just one of several soft tissue conditions caused by a virus invading the skin. They are often contracted by walking bare foot on unclean surfaces.

Although warts may appear anywhere on the foot, plantar warts commonly grow on the soles.

They may spread from one part of the body to another, or from one person to another. Children, teenagers, and people with allergies or weakened immune systems are more prone to warts; however, some people seem to be immune and will never develop them.

Warts are usually harmless, but can be very painful.

Plantar warts are generally hard, flat, and rough-surfaced with well-defined boundaries. They tend to be brown or gray with a center consisting of black pinpoints.

What can I do to prevent plantar warts?

Proper foot hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes are the best ways to prevent this condition. You should also:

  • Keep your bath or shower area clean
  • Wear shower shoes whenever possible, in public showering facilities
  • Wash your feet with soap and water every day
  • Dry your feet well, particularly between the toes
  • Always wear clean socks
  • Change shoes after two days to give them time to dry out
  • Check your child's feet regularly
  • Avoid contact with warts - either from other parts of your body or from other people
  • Visit our podiatrist annually

What treatments are available?

Self treatment is not recommended for anyone with warts, especially people with diabetes and those with cardiovascular or circulatory disorders.

Your treatment may include freezing or burning the affected area, over the counter medication, or a simple surgical procedure performed under local anesthetic. A procedure known as CO2 laser surgery is also becoming a more popular treatment option for people with plantar warts.

If you do not seek treatment, warts can grow to an inch or more in perimeter and multiply.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms addressed, we strongly recommend that you seek the advice of your podiatrist for proper diagnosis.