Plantar Warts

A Plantar wart, also known as a verruca plantaris, is a wart that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) occurring on the sole or toes of the foot. Plantar warts are small lesions with black spots in the center called petechiae. These petechiae are small hemorrhages under the skin. These are what cause pinpoint bleeding if the wart is cut or scratched. After infection, warts may not become visible for several weeks  or months. Because of the pressures of the feet, the wart is pushed inward and a hard callus may cover the lesion. This build up over the wart will make the wart painful if not treated. Warts may spread by infecting the nearby skin and forming large clusters or mosaic warts. Warts are similar to calluses or corns but the skin lines on the foot do not go thru the wart like they do in calluses and corns. The plantar warts are viral infections that are contracted by stepping in a moist surface. They can be prevented by not walking barefoot in public areas such as showers, pool side, locker rooms, and bath rooms. As a person gets older they do build up immunity to the wart virus. Since Plantar warts are contagious, it is important that precautions should be taken like wearing shoes in these high risk public areas.

Treatment Options

There are many treatments used for treating plantar warts. One home remedy is the use covering the wart with duct tape. There is little evidence on whether this is effective or not. For this reason duct tape is not recommended for treatment of plantar warts. The most common and first line of therapy is a topical salicylic acid. There are over the counter topical treatment and topical treatment that are stronger in the doctors office. For the more severe plantar warts cryotheraopy, stronger acids, laser therapy, and surgery may be the treatment of choice.