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Plantar Warts

What is a Plantar Wart?

A wart is a small growth on the skin that develops when the skin is infected by a virus, typically appearing on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot. Plantar warts most commonly occur in children, adolescents, and the elderly.

Causes

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.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a plantar wart may include thickened skin (resembling a callus), pain with pressure (more from side-to-side compression), and little black dots at the site of the lesion (these are small blood vessels/capillaries)

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 and ankle surgeon 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. There are various treatments including topical preparations, cryotherapy (freezing), acid treatments, or surgery to remove the wart.