A wart is a soft tissue condition caused by the human papillomavirus. When this virus enters your body through cracks or tiny cuts on the bottom of your feet, they can cause plantar warts. These small growths typically develop on your heels or other weight-bearing spots on your feet, which causes them to grow inward, usually underneath a thick layer of skin known as a callous.
Plantar warts usually aren’t a cause for concern, and many go away on their own over time. However, several situations may require a visit to a podiatrist.
At Premier Podiatry, Dr. Scott O’Connor is a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon. If you have plantar warts, it’s easy to find help at one of our three convenient locations in Normal, Pontiac, and Bloomington, Illinois.
It’s easy to confuse plantar warts with corns and calluses. Corns and calluses develop when your feet build up dead layers of skin to protect them against regular irritation. Unlike corns and calluses, however, plantar warts are the result of a viral infection, and they typically have a rough surface with a well-defined boundary. When they develop on the tops of your feet or toes, they’re usually raised and have a fleshy appearance. But, warts on the bottoms of your feet are typically flat and hard because they’re forced to grow inward.
Other signs of a plantar wart include:
Warts can also fuse together to create clusters known as mosaic warts.
In many cases, plantar warts go away on their own, but it can take months or years for this to happen. Furthermore, because these warts are caused by a virus, they are contagious and can spread from person to person.
Additional factors that may require medical attention include having:
You should also schedule an appointment with Dr. O’Connor if the growth limits your activities or if you’re unsure if it’s a wart.
Dr. O’Connor will recommend the right treatment based on the severity of your symptoms and the extent of your condition. Common treatments for plantar warts include:
In some cases, Dr. O’Connor may use immunotherapy. With this approach, Dr. O’Connor uses oral or topical medications to activate your immune system to fight the viral infection.
To get rid of your plantar warts or to have a suspicious growth on your foot inspected, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Podiatry today.