What are Warts?

Plantar warts are noncancerous skin growths on the soles of the feet, caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They develop when the virus enters the body through tiny cuts or breaks in the skin on the bottom of the feet. Plantar warts are characterized by their location on the foot, and unlike other warts, they grow into the skin rather than out of it. This inward growth can create a callus-like appearance and can be painful, especially when walking or standing. Plantar warts are contagious and can be spread in communal areas where people walk barefoot, such as showers or swimming pools.

Signs & Symptoms

  • A small, grainy growth on the bottom of the foot, often in high-pressure areas like the heel or ball.
  • Hard, thickened skin (callus) over a well-defined “spot” on the skin, where a wart has grown inward.
  • Pain or tenderness when walking or standing, which may feel like a lump or stone under the foot.
  • Black pinpoints, commonly called wart seeds, which are small, clotted blood vessels.
  • A lesion on the sole of the foot that interrupts the natural lines and ridges of the skin.
  • Multiple warts clustered together, known as mosaic warts.

Warts FAQ

Warts develop as a result of the HPV virus, of which there are over 100 strains. Everyone’s immune system responds to HPV differently. Some people develop warts, others don’t. 

That said, you’re more likely to experience warts if:

  • You’re a child or teenager
  • You have a weakened immune system
  • You’ve had warts before

You’re also at risk of getting warts if you walk barefoot in areas where the virus thrives such as locker rooms, saunas, and swimming pools. 

To diagnose warts, Dr. Hausman conducts a thorough physical exam. During this exam, he examines the lesion, pares the lesion with a scalpel, and removes a small section of the lesion for biopsy. Afterward, he sends your sample to a laboratory for analysis.

Dr. Hausman usually recommends conservative, noninvasive treatments to address warts. If you only have one or two, he might recommend treatment with an over-the-counter wart treatment. If your warts don’t respond, he might recommend an in-office treatment using salicylic acid or cryotherapy. 

If your warts persist or continue to spread, a more invasive treatment might be necessary. In this instance, Dr. Hausman might recommend immunotherapy, minor surgery, or laser treatment.

Don’t let warts prevent you from living your best life. To request your consultation with Lionel G. Hausman, DPM, today, call the office or click the online booking tool.