What Are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are lesions that are found on the bottom of the feet, caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) , a water-borne infection.

They are considered to be contagious, however it is common for only one member of the family to have them. Plantar warts may be non-symptomatic or extremely painful , especially on weight bearing areas.

Plantar Warts Snapshot

  • Commonly occurring in children
  • Waterborne virus
  • Can be very painful
  • Easily treatable with conservative treatment
  • Can often be misdiagnosed as corns or callus


Causes of Plantar Warts

  • Papillomavirus virus found around pools, spas, showers, puddles, saunas etc

  • Transmitted through water and a small break/porous aspect on the skin surface


Plantar Warts Symptoms

  • Single of multiple lesions found on the plantar surface of the foot

  • Black dots in the center, as warts have their own blood supply

  • Pain from side to side squeezing, as opposed to direct pressure

  • Skin lines run around the lesion, not through


Treatment for Plantar Warts

This depends on age, gender, medical status of the patient and the number, site and classification of the lesion.

  • Stronger topical medications, such as salicylic acid

  • Freezing the wart (cryotherapy)

  • Burning the wart (electrocautery)

  • Laser treatment or dry needling for difficult to remove lesions

  • Customised soft offloading insoles to take the pressure off and ease the pain

  • Over the counter remedies (however the skin on the sole of the foot is thicker than the skin on the rest of the body, so may need specific treatment to be effective)

It is a good idea to speak to your podiatrist at Well Heeled Podiatry before deciding on any treatment options, as certain treatment can cause scarring and unwanted side effects.


If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system (for example, HIV) and have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist before undertaking any type of treatment.

DO NOT attempt to remove a wart yourself by burning, cutting, tearing, picking, or any other method.


Related Topics

Make an appointment