A wart is a small growth on the skin that develops when the skin is infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus. Plantar warts are named for their location -- on the bottom (or plantar side) of the foot. Plantar warts are common and mostly occur in children, adolescents, and the elderly. The warts are harmless, considered benign, and most clear up on their own. Sometimes, warts can cause irritation and pain, especially when standing, and medical intervention may be necessary.
The signs and symptoms of a plantar wart may include:
Thickened skin: Often a plantar wart resembles a callus because the wart may grow inward creating tough, thick tissue in its wake, especially in weight-bearing areas of the foot like the ball or heel.
Pain: A plantar wart may hurt during walking and standing, and there’s pain when the sides of the wart are squeezed.
Tiny black dot: These often appear on the surface of the wart. The dots are dried blood contained in the infected capillaries (tiny blood vessels).
Plantar warts grow deep into the skin and slowly grow larger over time, especially if they aren’t treated.
Often, warts resolve themselves over time, usually 1-2 years. You should, however, make an appointment with Dr. Babalola if any of the following conditions exist:
There are several over-the-counter and prescription medications that can be taken to diminish warts, but patience is key. It may take several months to see results.
If Dr. Babalola feels that stronger measures are required for resistant and persistent cases, she may recommend the following:
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