Plantar warts are small, fleshy growths that usually develop in weight-bearing areas like the heels and balls of your feet. They’re caused by a strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are highly contagious.
Most plantar warts go away on their own, but if yours cause you pain or begin to affect your quality of life, don’t wait to seek medical help.
Plantar warts vary in shape, size, and location. Common telltale signs of plantar warts include:
Most plantar warts also have a black dot or “seed” in the middle. This is a group of small, clotted vessels that provide the wart with blood.
Plantar warts affect people of all races and sexes, but certain things can increase your risk, including:
You’re also more likely to get plantar warts if you walk barefoot in areas like public locker rooms and saunas, where the wart-causing virus is common.
Unfortunately, plantar warts can’t be prevented entirely. You can take some steps to lower your risk, though. The team at Colorado Foot + Ankle Sports Medicine recommends:
If you have warts, you should avoid scratching or picking at them.
To diagnose plantar warts, the team at Colorado Foot + Ankle Sports Medicine examines the bottoms of your feet. They might also:
These procedures can provide further information about the type of wart you have and lead to the treatment you’ll most benefit from.
Plantar warts usually go away on their own without treatment. However, if your plantar warts start spreading or they cause you pain, the team at Colorado Foot + Ankle Sports Medicine can prescribe a peeling medication like salicylic acid or an in-office treatment with cryotherapy.
If your warts keep coming back, a more thorough treatment like immunotherapy, minor surgery, or laser treatment would be necessary.
To learn more about available treatments for plantar warts, make an appointment at Colorado Foot + Ankle Sports Medicine today by calling the office or using the online booking tool.