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Where can you get plantar warts: Understanding Plantar Warts | Saint Luke’s Health System

Understanding Plantar Warts | Saint Luke’s Health System

plantar wart is a small, noncancer growth on the bottom of the foot. Plantar warts
develop where friction or pressure occurs, such as on the ball of the foot. The word
plantar refers to the sole of the foot. Similar warts can occur on other areas of
the body
such as the hands. Plantar warts are more common in children and young adults.

What causes a plantar wart?

Plantar warts are caused by a virus called HPV (human papillomavirus).

can be spread by person-to-person contact. Or you can develop one if you walk barefoot
on moist surfaces infected with the virus. This might be in a community pool area
locker room. Wearing the correct footwear in such places can prevent them.

What are the symptoms of plantar warts?

Plantar warts cause a thick, rough, and often raised patch of skin on the bottom of
foot. The wart may have black dots on it. These dots are dried blood. The wart may
pain or discomfort. You may also have trouble walking because of the pain.

How are plantar warts treated?

plantar warts go away without any treatment. But for those that are painful or that
don’t go away, several treatments are available. The most common treatments include:

  • Salicylic acid. This is put directly on the
    wart. It may come in the form of a liquid, ointment, pad, or patch. It’s available
    over the counter. Don’t use salicylic acid treatment for more than 12 weeks
    without talking with your healthcare provider.

  • Cryotherapy. Your provider puts liquid nitrogen
    on the wart with a cotton swab or spray. This treatment might be painful.

  • Medicine. A variety of medicines can be put
    on or injected into the wart. But research is mixed on how well they work.

There are many folk remedies for plantar warts, but some of these are unproven and
be dangerous. Talk with your provider about safe methods to try. Often your provider
will cut away dead parts of the wart before using other treatments.  

When should I call my healthcare provider?

your healthcare provider if you have plantar warts that:

  • Become too painful
  • Don’t go away on their own or with over-the-counter and
    at-home treatments

Plantar warts | Sparrow


Plantar warts are small, rough growths on the feet. They usually show up on the balls and heels of the feet, the areas that bear the most pressure. This pressure may also cause a wart to grow inward beneath a hard, thick layer of skin (callus).

Plantar warts are caused by HPV. This virus enters through tiny cuts or breaks on the bottom of the feet.

Most plantar warts aren’t a serious health concern and often go away without treatment, especially in children under 12. To get rid of them sooner, you can try self-care treatments or see your health care provider.


Plantar wart signs and symptoms include:

  • A small, rough growth on the bottom of your foot, usually at the base of the toes or on the ball or heel
  • On brown and Black skin, the growth may be lighter than unaffected skin
  • Hard, thickened skin (callus) over a spot on the skin, where a wart has grown inward
  • Black pinpoints, which are small clotted blood vessels commonly called wart seeds
  • A cluster of growths on the sole of the foot (mosaic warts)
  • A growth that interrupts the normal lines and ridges in the skin of your foot
  • Pain or tenderness when walking or standing

When to see a doctor

See your health care provider for the growth on your foot if:

  • The growth is bleeding, painful or changes in shape or color
  • You’ve tried treating the wart, but it persists, multiplies or comes back after clearing for a time (recurs)
  • Your pain interferes with your activities
  • You also have diabetes or poor feeling in your feet
  • You also have a weak immune system because of immune-suppressing drugs, HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders
  • You aren’t sure if the growth is a wart


Plantar warts are caused by an infection with HPV in the outer layer of skin on the soles of the feet. The warts develop when the virus enters through tiny cuts, breaks or weak spots on the bottom of the foot. If left untreated, warts can last from a few months to 2 years in children, and several years in in adults.

HPV is very common, and more than 100 kinds of the virus exist. But only a few of them cause warts on the feet. Other types of HPV are more likely to cause warts on other areas of your skin or on mucous membranes.

Transmission of the virus

Each person’s immune system responds differently to HPV. Not everyone who comes in contact with it develops warts. Even people in the same family react to the virus differently.

The HPV strains that cause plantar warts aren’t highly contagious. So the virus isn’t easily spread by direct contact from one person to another. But it thrives in warm, moist places, so you might get the virus by walking barefoot around swimming pools or locker rooms. If the virus spreads from the first site of infection, more warts may grow.

Risk factors

Anyone can develop plantar warts, but this type of wart is more likely to affect:

  • Children and teenagers
  • People with weak immune systems
  • People who have had plantar warts before
  • People who walk barefoot in areas where a wart-causing virus is common, such as locker rooms and swimming pools


When plantar warts cause pain, you may alter your normal posture or gait — perhaps without realizing it. Eventually, this change in how you stand, walk or run can cause muscle or joint discomfort.


To help prevent plantar warts:

  • Avoid direct contact with warts. This includes your own warts. Wash your hands carefully after touching a wart.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry.
  • Wear sandals or other foot protection when walking around swimming pools, in locker rooms or in gym showers.
  • Don’t pick at or scratch warts.
  • When using an emery board, pumice stone or nail clipper on your warts, choose one that you don’t use on your healthy skin and nails.


A health care provider usually diagnoses a plantar wart by looking at it or cutting off the top layer with a scalpel and checking for dots. The dots are tiny clotted blood vessels. Or your health care provider might cut off a small section of the growth and send it to a lab for testing.


Most plantar warts are harmless and go away without treatment, though it may take a year or two in children, and even longer in adults. If you want to get rid of warts sooner, and self-care approaches haven’t helped, talk with your health care provider. Using one or more of the following treatments may help:

  • Freezing medicine (cryotherapy). Cryotherapy is done in a clinic and involves applying liquid nitrogen to the wart, either with a spray or a cotton swab. This method can be painful, so your health care provider may numb the area first.

    The freezing causes a blister to form around your wart, and the dead tissue sloughs off within a week or so. Cryotherapy may also stimulate your immune system to fight viral warts. You may need to return to the clinic for repeat treatments every 2 to 3 weeks until the wart disappears.

    Possible side effects of cryotherapy are pain, blisters and permanent changes in skin color (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation), particularly in people with brown or Black skin.

  • Stronger peeling medicine (salicylic acid). Prescription-strength wart medications with salicylic acid work by removing a wart a layer at a time. They may also boost your immune system’s ability to fight the wart.

    Your health care provider will likely suggest you apply the medicine regularly at home, followed by occasional office visits. It might take weeks to remove the wart using this method.

Surgical or other procedures

If salicylic acid and freezing medicine don’t work, your health care provider may suggest one or more of the following treatments:

  • Minor surgery. Your health care provider cuts away the wart or destroys it by using an electric needle (electrodesiccation and curettage). This method can be painful, so your health care provider will numb your skin first. Because surgery has a risk of scarring, it’s not often used to treat plantar warts unless other treatments have failed. A scar on the sole of the foot can be painful for years.
  • Blistering medicine. Your health care provider applies cantharidin, which causes a blister under the wart. You may need to return to the clinic in about a week to have the dead wart clipped off.
  • Immune therapy. This method uses medications or solutions to stimulate your immune system to fight viral warts. Your health care provider may inject your warts with a foreign substance (antigen) or apply a solution or cream to the warts.
  • Laser treatment. Pulsed-dye laser treatment burns closed (cauterizes) tiny blood vessels. The infected tissue eventually dies, and the wart falls off. This method needs to be repeated every 2 to 4 weeks. Your health care provider will likely numb your skin first.
  • Vaccine. HPV vaccine has been used with success to treat warts even though this vaccine is not specifically targeted toward the wart viruses that cause plantar warts.

If a plantar wart goes away after treatment and another wart grows, it could be because the area was exposed again to HPV.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Many people have removed warts with these self-care tips:

  • Peeling medicine (salicylic acid). Nonprescription wart removal products are sold as a patch, gel or liquid. You’ll likely be instructed to wash the site, soak it in warm water, and gently remove the top layer of softened skin with a pumice stone or emery board. Then after the skin has dried, you apply the solution or patch. Patches are often changed every 24 to 48 hours. Liquid products are used daily. It might take weeks to remove the wart using this method.
  • Freezing medicine (cryotherapy). Nonprescription medicines that freeze the wart include Compound W Freeze Off and Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away. The Food and Drug Administration cautions that some wart removers are flammable and shouldn’t be used around fire, flame, heat sources (such as curling irons) and lit cigarettes.
  • Duct tape. Using duct tape to remove warts is a harmless but unproven approach. To try it, cover the wart with silver duct tape, changing it every few days. Between applications, soak the wart and gently remove dead tissue with a pumice stone or emery board. Then leave the wart open to the air to dry for a few hours before covering it with tape again.

In general, no matter which treatment you try, do these two things:

  • Cover the wart to help prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body or to other people.
  • Wash your hands after touching the wart.

If a plantar wart goes away after treatment and another wart grows, it could be because the area was exposed again to HPV.

Preparing for an appointment

You’ll likely start by seeing your primary care provider, who may then refer you to a specialist in disorders of the skin (dermatologist) or feet (podiatrist). The following tips can help you prepare for your appointment.


What you can do

Bring a list of all medications you take regularly — including nonprescription medications and dietary supplements — and the daily dosage of each.

You may also want to list questions for your health care provider, such as:

  • If I have a plantar wart, can I start with at-home care?
  • If I use a home treatment, under what conditions should I call you?
  • If the first treatment doesn’t work, what will we try next?
  • If the growth isn’t a plantar wart, what tests do you need to do?
  • How long will it take to get results?
  • How can I prevent warts?

Preparing for an appointment

What to expect from your doctor

Your health care provider may ask you questions such as:

  • When did you first notice the wart?
  • Has it changed in size, color or shape?
  • Is your condition painful?
  • Have you had warts before?
  • Do you have diabetes or poor sensation in your feet?
  • Do you have any condition or take any medication that has weakened your ability to fight disease (immune response)?
  • Have you tried any home remedies? If so, how long have you used them and have they helped?
  • Do you use a swimming pool or locker room — places that can harbor wart-causing viruses?

What you can do in the meantime

If you’re sure you have a plantar wart, you may try nonprescription remedies or alternative medicine approaches. But talk with your health care provider before trying self-care treatments if you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Poor sensation in your feet
  • Weakened immunity

If pressure on the wart causes pain, try wearing well-cushioned shoes, such as athletic shoes that evenly support the sole and relieve some of the pressure. Avoid wearing uncomfortable shoes.

Plantar wart (spinal wart): causes and treatments

Plantar Warts is a type of wart that occurs on the soles of the feet and on the palms of the hands.
Of all skin warts, plantar warts occur in 30%. They are the ones most often removed.

The only cause is the human papillomavirus, HPV for short.

Scheme of infection: people scratched the skin. The virus enters the skin. Embedded in the genes of skin cells. The cell takes on ugly forms, becoming similar to tumor cells.

Caution: Some types of human papillomavirus can cause cervical dysplasia and cancer.
Infection with the type of HPV that causes warts occurs during childhood. Almost all children become infected with this virus – in kindergartens, at schools, in public places. But not everyone gets sick – it all depends on the immune system. In childhood, warts appear for the first time. Then the adult’s immune system copes with this virus. Therefore, in adults, warts on the skin rarely appear. And if an adult has spikes, this indicates a decrease in the activity of the immune system.
Entrance gates for the virus are injuries of the soles of the feet and palms: scratches, cuts, abrasions and calluses. Provoking factors – excessive sweating of the feet and wearing tight shoes, stress.

Main manifestation : hard, round formation on the palm or sole of the foot.

Main symptom : Pain when walking and itching around the wart.

Initial stage:

  • a small callus appears,
  • she itches,
  • hurts when walking.

After 2-4 weeks:

  • Rough surface appears in the center,
  • often – black dots in the center, **
  • along the edges – a small roller of keratinized skin.


  • Why do spines appear on the palm and sole? Because the skin here is especially dense (unlike other parts of the body). And this type of HPV virus infects just such skin.
  • Why does it hurt when walking? Because the spine grows inwards. When walking, the weight of the body presses on the wart and it compresses the pain receptors.
  • Why is itching? Because the ugly cells of the plantar wart on the foot and palm press on neighboring skin receptors, which leads to itching.
  • Why black dots? This is the result of blockage of blood vessels in the thickness of the wart on the foot or on the palm.

Dimensions – 3 -10 mm. At the same time, they rise above the surface of the skin by only 1-2 mm, because they grow inward and in breadth.
Child warts may appear nearby. They merge with the mother and form a painful conglomerate. This is a clear indicator of a decrease in immunity. And this often requires medical treatment.

Methods of treatment:

In 90% of people, a plantar wart goes away without treatment at an early stage. The immune system suppresses the virus and heals the skin.
The time of self-healing depends on the stage of the process: from 2 weeks to 1.5 years.

When should a thorn be treated?

  • if it hurts a lot,
  • if it interferes with walking,
  • if grown to a large size,
  • if children appear nearby.

How and with what to treat warts on the feet?

Removal – a treatment that is successful in 98% of patients

Drug removal

Local necrotizing agents are used for this purpose.
Solcoderm, vartoks, duofilm, kollomak, super celandine and others
They contain acids or alkalis. Removal of plantar warts (thorns) occurs through a chemical burn of the skin. The wart is dying.
And in this place there is an inconspicuous scar.
The treatment time is long: an average of 14-20 days).
The probability of recurrence (reappearance at the same place) is very high.

Instrument removal

  • Laser.

Your wart will be vaporized by the laser. In this place you will have a deep wound. The wound will heal in 10-14 days.
Disadvantages of the method: deep wound after removal. Rough scarring.

  • Liquid nitrogen.

Deep freezing of tissue occurs. A bubble forms. It will hurt a lot and then hurt more!! Heals 14 days.
Disadvantages of the method: Severe pain during removal and after removal. Prolonged healing. Rough scar.

  • Radio wave radiation (device “Surgitron”).

The same effect as from the laser – tissue evaporation. And only a deepening-wound will remain from the wart.

Advantages of the method:

Nearby vessels are coagulated, forming a dense crust at the site of the neoplasm, so the removal is performed without damage to the vessels and does not cause even the slightest blood loss.
The crust disappears on its own after 7-10 days. In its place is an inconspicuous scar.

The wart is burned out with an electrocoagulator. This is the same scalpel, only electric. It is now rarely used in large clinics.

Prevention is the foundation of the foundations

  • Wearing loose shoes.
  • Treatment of excessive sweating of the feet.
  • Treatment of injuries, scratches and cuts on the feet.
  • A healthy lifestyle and strengthening of the immune system is the prevention of viral diseases, including the HPV virus.

plantar wart wart removal spine

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Plantar wart – treatment and removal of warts

Life with a plantar wart is a torment: it is impossible to stand or walk. And it’s scary to go to the doctor – the removal is very painful, and the wound after such a procedure heals for a long time. And only recently, dermatologists have a gentle way to deal with this problem.

Whatever people came up with in search of a way to get rid of plantar warts. They rubbed them with potatoes or garlic, tied the meat to the wart. The use of “burning” products at home is often ineffective and can lead to the appearance of rough scars. In general, anyone who has ever tried to get rid of a plantar wart on their own knows that everything is useless, you cannot do without a doctor.

IMPORTANT! Information from the article cannot be used for self-diagnosis and self-treatment! Only a doctor can prescribe the necessary examinations, establish a diagnosis and draw up a treatment plan for a consultation!

What is a plantar wart?

A plantar wart is nothing like the ones you see on the body. Why do they appear, as if from nowhere? There was nothing on the sole of the foot and suddenly you can’t walk.

Any warts are skin neoplasms, the development of which is provoked by human papillomavirus (HPV) . That is, a wart is a viral disease that needs to be treated systemically.

You can become infected with HPV through contact with an infected person or through household items, especially if a person has weakened immunity, both general and local. The virus most easily penetrates the skin through microtraumas and skin soaked in water (maceration), so often the most unpleasant – plantar – warts appear in those who visit the pool or gym.

Warts are different:

  • vulgar (translated from Latin – ordinary),
  • flat,
  • plantar
  • genital warts.

Of course, warts do not color anyone, so their owners try to get rid of a cosmetic defect. But the pain is delivered, as a rule, plantar. Outwardly, they look like corns and occur more often on the skin of the soles – in places of pressure and friction.

Usually the skin thickens there due to increased keratinization. When pressure is applied to plantar warts, the pain can be so intense that patients compare it to a “nail in a boot.”

Treatment of a plantar wart at home

Drugs are sold in pharmacies, the instructions for which say that the indication for use is plantar warts. But, removing warts at home is undesirable, because it is often ineffective and can cause complications.

Most home remedies are strong solutions of alkalis or acids. When using them, the occurrence of a deep long-healing burn and the development of a rough scar are possible 0008 . With insufficient exposure, warts reappear. In addition, infection of the wound and the development of purulent complications are possible.

The method of treatment must be chosen by the physician . And the application of any destructive drugs should also be carried out by a doctor or take place under his supervision.

Removal of plantar warts

How this is done is up to the doctor. It is possible to minimize the risk of recurrence (relapse) of the wart with the help of complex therapy. Despite the fact that today there are no drugs that completely kill the human papillomavirus in the body, many patients need antiviral therapy. In addition, the formed wart must be removed. For the destruction (destruction) of warts, a laser, liquid nitrogen, cauterizing, keratolytic and mummifying agents can be used.

Laser removal of large warts is often more effective than liquid nitrogen removal. Before laser destruction, the plantar wart is chipped with an anesthetic, which is a rather painful procedure. During laser destruction, in addition to the destruction of the formation itself, thermal heating (burning) of the surrounding tissues occurs, which, on the one hand, damages the virus, and on the other hand, leads to some inflammation around the removed wart. Wounds on the skin of the soles do not heal quickly, as there is constant pressure on the damaged area when walking.