A wart is a tiny growth on the skin that develops when the skin is infected by a virus. Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically they appear on the plantar aspect, or bottom of the foot. Plantar warts most commonly occur in children, adolescents, and the elderly.
Plantar warts can be either a solitary wart (grows as a single wart, which may form small satellite lesions) or mosaic warts (grow as a cluster of several smaller warts growing close together).
Verruca, or Plantar warts are caused by direct contact with the (HPV), or human papilloma virus. This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body.
The symptoms of a plantar wart may include:
-Pain, worse with weight-bearing and ambulation
-Tiny black dots, which are dried blood contained in small blood vessels near the surface
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
For diagnosis of a plantar wart, we 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.
Some options include topical or oral treatments cryotherapy (freezing), acid treatments, laser, or surgery to remove the wart.
It is important that the patient follow instructions, including all home care and medication that has been prescribed, as well as follow-up visits. Warts may return, requiring further treatment.
If there is no response to treatment, further diagnostic evaluation may be necessary. In such cases, a biopsy to rule out other potential causes for the growth may be necessary.
Although there are many home remedies for warts, patients should be aware that these remain unproven and can be dangerous. Patients should never try to remove warts themselves. This can do more harm than good.