Warts are the most common infection of the skin caused by a virus. Plantar warts are hyperkeratotic lesions on the plantar surface. Plantar warts grow on the plantar, or bottom surface of the foot. About 10 percent of teenagers have warts. A plantar wart may have small black specks within it that ooze blood when the surface is cut or shaved; these are abnormal capillaries. Using a public shower or walking around the locker room in your bare feet after a workout increases your risk for developing plantar warts. Some people are more prone to the virus that causes plantar warts than other people. Risk factors include repeated HPV exposure (e.g., walking barefoot in public locker rooms and common bathing areas) and having a weakened immune system.
In some cases, the virus can be transmitted to the feet from other areas of the body (called remote location seeding). In the United States, 7-10% of people have warts. Plantar warts are seen in all age groups, but they are most common among children aged 12-16 years. Plantar warts can be very painful and tender. Standing and walking push the warts flat. They grow up into the skin, making it feel like there’s a stone in your shoe. A plantar wart is similar in structure to an iceberg-the part on the surface of the skin is a small part of the entire anomaly. Laser treatments (e.g., CO2 laser) can be used to treat plantar warts. Laser treatment is performed in a podiatrist’s office or an outpatient surgery facility using local anesthesia. Do not use salicylic acid on moles, birthmarks, or warts with hair growing from them.
Apply vitamin A once a day by breaking open a capsule and squeezing the liquid onto the wart. Apply mild acid (e.g., salicylic acid, cantharidin, dichloroacetic acid) topically to treat plantar warts. Use foot powders and change your socks frequently to keep the feet dry. Avoid walking barefoot in public areas such as showers, communal changing rooms. Change shoes and socks daily. Avoid sharing shoes and socks. Avoid direct contact with warts on other parts of body. Avoid direct contact with warts on other persons. Freezing is one of the most common treatments for plantar warts and is usually effective, but may require multiple trips to your doctor every two to four weeks. To avoid scarring or damaging other tissues, this method removes only the top portion of the wart.
Planter Warts Treatment and Prevention Tips
1. Avoid walking barefoot whenever possible.
2. Change shoes and socks daily.
3. Keep feet clean and dry.
4. Use foot powders and change your socks frequently to keep the feet dry.
5. Tape occlusion (duct tape) uses tape to cover the wart for a period of time.
6. Laser treatments (e.g., CO2 laser) can be used to treat plantar warts.
7. Avoid direct contact with warts on other persons or on other parts of the body.
8. Freezing is common treatments for plantar warts and is usually effective.