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.
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 skins surface
Symptoms of Plantar Warts:
- Single of multiple lesions found on the plantar surface of the foot
- Black dots in the centre, as warts have their own blood supply
- Pain from side to side squeezing, apposed to direct pressure
- Skin lines run around the lesion not through
Treatment for Plantar Warts:
Treatment for Plantar Warts depends on age, gender, medical status of the patient and the number, site and classification of the wart.
- Stronger topical medications, such as salicylic acid
- Freezing the wart (cryotherapy)
- Burning the wart (electrocautery)
- Laser treatment or dry needling for difficult to remove plantar warts
- 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)
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.