Plantar Warts Can Cause Foot Pain


Of the many places a wart can appear on your skin, the heel of the foot has to be one of the most potentially painful locations. However, this is where a wart-causing virus (HPV) chooses to make its home, after getting in through cracks and nicks on the edges and soles of your feet. Human papilloma virus is found wherever there are people, so it can be easily acquired from the gym while using the showers, pool area, and locker rooms. Wearing foot protection in these areas can help minimize your contact with this virus and other pathogens such as the fungi that cause toenail infections.

Plantar warts will sometimes get better with good home care, but when a wart grows underneath the skin, on the heels or balls of the feet, the pressure causes the wart to grow inward beneath the thick skin, causing pain and discomfort when walked on. This condition can be particularly painful and difficult to treat, and may require the services of a foot doctor for safe and complete removal.

Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Warts

  • Pain and discomfort—a painful bump, located under thick skin, usually on the ball or heel.
  • Warty, rough bumps— that have little black center points that are actually clotted blood vessels.
  • Clusters—warts multiply and spread and appear in groups. These clusters of warts are known as “mosaic warts”.

Home Treatment for Plantar Warts

  • Padding—Moleskin pads isolate the wart and can make it easier to walk on an embedded wart.
  • Foot soaks—Soaking in a warm foot bath and applying salicylic acid is often effective.
  • Sanding and filing—with a pumice stone or file to remove dead tissue.

If you do not see the desired improvement in one to two weeks with home care treatments, it may be necessary to see a foot care professional and try a more aggressive treatment such as liquid nitrogen, cauterization, or laser surgery. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.