Plantar warts are small, rough, round growths that can arise on the bottom of the feet. They are medically known as verrucae and are caused by a virus called the Human Papillomavirus.
While warts on the feet tend to be more frustrating than dangerous, they can also be extremely painful when we walk on them. As such, warts can make walking, playing sports and daily life very uncomfortable.
Plantar warts are spread through direct contact under certain circumstances. While the wart virus can be contracted at any age, it is often spread in childhood from sharing communal surfaces in bare feet, such as school changing rooms or pool areas. Warts can also spread through households, which is why treatment is recommended when one member of your family exhibits symptoms.
Immune systems do respond differently and not everyone that comes in contact with the virus will develop plantar warts. Similarly, a weakened immune system may make you more susceptible to contracting the virus.
Warts can come in different sizes – some large and some very small. The level of pain they cause will depend on their size and their location, with warts that are present directly over a joint causing the most pain from the pressure on that area of the foot with every step. If you have a wart, you may notice:
While some choose to wait for warts to get better on their own, the truth is that it’s impossible to tell how long that will take. Some warts resolve within months, while others take years. That’s why we prefer a proactive approach to getting rid of the warts and getting you back to pain-free living. We offer multiple treatments for plantar warts, including
Warts are not a life-threatening problem, nor a disease that may cause damage to your body’s systems or processes. They can, however, become painful and uncomfortable if positioned in a weight bearing part of your foot.
The wart is a mass that becomes embedded on your foot – much like a small pebble. Walking on a mass like that will always feel either uncomfortable or painful.
If you have the HPV virus in your system, then warts can appear on other specific parts of your body, like your hands and knees. Warts aren’t isolated to just one part of your body but arise from how the virus acts in your body.
Warts can go away on their own, but this is entirely unpredictable – warts can be present for months or years and cause ongoing pain the entire time. To add to the pain, warts can quickly build a layer of callus over them due to their pressure while walking. The more you walk on it, the thicker and more painful the callus becomes. Over time, the thickness of the callus can be much more painful than the original wart itself.
Many pharmacies sell wart pads and creams, but we advise against using these. They are often acid-based and leak onto the healthy skin surrounding the wart, causing damage to this healthy skin and leading to even more pain. As we always put the safety and health of your feet first, we always recommend having warts professionally treated by your podiatrist.