Plantar Warts

Plantar Warts The common wart is known as verruca vulgaris. It is caused by a viral infection of the skin. This occurs as a result of direct contact with the virus. Warts are contagious and can spread to skin on other parts of the body, or to other family members.. When they occur on the bottom of the foot, they are called plantar warts. A common misconception is that plantar warts have seeds or roots that grow through the skin and can attach to the bone. The wart may appear to have a root or seeds, but these are in fact small clusters of the wart just beneath the top layer of the skin. Moist, sweaty feet can predispose to infection by the wart virus. They can be picked up in showers and around swimming pools. If a member of the family has this viral infection, care should be taken to keep showers and tile floors clean. Children who have plantar warts should not share their shoes with other people.


The warts may have the appearance of thick, scaly skin. They can occur as small, single warts or can cluster into large areas. These clustered warts are called mosaic warts. They often resemble plantar calluses. A simple way to tell the difference between a wart and a callous is to squeeze the lesion between your fingers in a pinching fashion. If this is painful, it is likely that the lesion is a wart. A callous is generally not painful with this maneuver, but is tender with direct pressure, by pressing directly on the lesion. Other lesions on the bottom of the foot that are often confused with plantar warts are porokeratoses and inclusion cysts.

Treatment of Warts

There are many over-the-counter treatments available for warts. Unfortunately these are usually ineffective at treating warts on the feet. Plantar warts are very resistant to all types of treatment, and several treatments may be required for complete resolution. Some of the methods that the doctors at Mount Kisco Foot Specialists, PLLC use to treat warts include debridement (shaving of the wart), topical medications, cryotherapy (freezing), electrofulgeration (burning), surgical excision, and oral medications. After discussing all the options, the doctors will help the patient choose which treatment, or combination of treatments, is best for them. Usually, we are able to treat the warts utilizing the methods that cause minimal discomfort and do not involve the risk of scar formation.

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