Plantar Warts in Adults:
Plantar warts are benign (noncancerous) growths that occur on the sole, heel, or ball of the foot. Most plantar warts are diagnosed based on their appearance. They are generally rough and spongy, and most are gray, brown, or yellow with dark dots in the center. While you likely heard as a child that these are the ‘seeds’ of the wart, they are not just little black dots in the skin. They are a skin virus.
What Are Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) invading the body through the skin on the bottom of the feet, typically through cuts or breaks. The virus often is present on contaminated surfaces, such as the tile floors of public locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools.
Some individuals are more prone to the virus that causes plantar warts than other people. Risk factors include:
- Repeated HPV exposure. For example, walking barefoot in public locker rooms and common public areas.
- Having a weakened immune system.
When first diagnosed, individuals often feel a “lump” on the bottom of the foot when standing, similar to having a stone in their shoe. If left untreated, plantar warts can grow up to 1 inch in circumference and may spread into clusters (called mosaic warts). In severe cases, they cause a change in gait or posture that results in leg or back pain.
- Excisional Biopsy of small warts
- Topical treatment with anti-viral creams
- Cryo-therapy or freezing the warts, with care because the location on the bottom of the foot is very sensitive.
If you suffer from plantar warts, or you’re not sure if the growth or lesion is a plantar wart or other lesion, schedule an appointment with our Board certified podiatrists. practice. We Dr. Caputo and Dr. DeLorenzo can diagnose and treat your warts to remove them fast, and advise you on how to protect against them in the future.
Plantar Warts in Children:
A plantar wart is a growth most commonly found on the bottom of the feet in teens and children that is caused by a skin virus. Even though with time this infection may clear up on its own, a majority of patients desire more definitive diagnosis and treatment.
Plantar Wart Symptoms
- A growth or bump that appears on the bottom part of the ball of the foot often goes unnoticed until it spreads or enlarges and hurts.
- Plantar warts frequently grow inward, and, like an iceburg, are larger than they look.
- Black pinpoints can be seen. They are small bleeding inside the lesion.
- They tend to cause pain, tenderness while walking, or standing.
You should consider consulting your Board Certified foot doctor for proper diagnosis and Treatment Options:
- Topical treatment with medicated or anti-viral creams
- Cryo-therapy or freezing the warts, with care because the location on the bottom of the foot is very sensitive
- Rarely is excisional biopsy of small warts needed in children.