How to Recognize and Treat Plantar Warts


Plantar warts grow in the plantar fasciitis which is the wide band of fibrous tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot. They can cause unbearable pain and discomfort upon weight bearing but are otherwise not a risk to your health. Conservative methods of treatment are sometimes effective, but since plantar warts are often hidden under the thick skin on the bottom of the foot, you will usually need the help of your foot doctor to identify and eradicate these pesky warts. 

Plantar warts usually exhibit the following signs:

1)    A visible plantar wart will appear as a grainy growth with a rough surface on the bottom of your foot. Visible warts will also have tiny black dots in the middle that are actually clotted capillaries

2)    Thick skin that hides a small bump on the heel or ball of the foot may be an indication that a plantar wart is growing under your skin.

3)    When you can’t actually see the wart, you will know it’s presence by the severe pain and tenderness you feel when adding weight to your foot.

Treatments for plantar warts:

Plantar warts will often dissipate on their own over time. Other methods of removal include the following:

●     Freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen - A hidden wart first needs to be carefully exposed by your foot care professional to avoid any unnecessary bleeding. Liquid nitrogen is then used to freeze the wart so it crumbles and can be easily removed.

●     Peeling and sanding - Acid peels will help to slowly remove layers of the wart and will help weaken the skin so it can be sanded with a file.

●     Vaccines - Medications containing HPV vaccine have been shown to kill the wart through your bloodstream, but there may be undesirable side effects.

If you think you may be experiencing the pain of a plantar wart, make an appointment with your foot doctor today. 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.