Common Causes of Plantar Warts and the Best Treatment Options

December 23, 2021
Common Causes of Plantar Warts and the Best Treatment Options

Plantar warts grow on the heel or other weight-bearing parts of the foot, and can become painful enough to affect your everyday life. Daily mobility is impacted negatively by the foot pain associated with plantar warts. 

These warts have many causes, including increased pressure on the foot, and grow inward behind a hard layer of skin or callus. The appearance of small black dots on a plantar wart is a common occurrence that indicates internal small blood vessel clotting. Consult with a licensed professional should these signs develop.

Symptoms of Plantar Warts

If you feel a rough, grainy lesion or growth on the ball, forefront, or heel of your foot, you may have developed a plantar wart. You may see an abrasion that interferes with the regular lines of your feet, and this could be another indicator that you have developed one or multiple plantar warts. If you feel pain or tenderness on the soles of your foot while standing or walking, you may want to consult with a licensed Foot and Ankle specialist. If you notice that you have developed a hard callus over a well-defined but small part of a pressure-bearing portion of your foot, this may also indicate a plantar wart.

What Causes Plantar Warts?

One of the most common causes of plantar warts is the exposure of the external skin of your foot to human papillomavirus (HPV). While there are upwards of 100 varieties of HPV, only a select few are known to cause warts on your feet. Roughly 7-10% of patients who are exposed to the virus on their foot develop plantar warts. Children whose immune systems are still developing are more likely to have warts caused by HPV exposure, as well as individuals who are immunocompromised for a variety of other reasons.

The particular strain of HPV that causes plantar warts does not transmit through the air and is not easily spread by skin contact. To cause an infection and create a plantar wart, HPV exposure must occur in cracked skin—due to dryness. Other entry points may include scrapes, cuts, or other abrasions. A third point of exposure can occur when skin is saturated with water, causing maceration and a fragile external layer. HPV thrives in warm, moist environments and is most commonly transmitted in locker rooms, pools, showers, and other areas where moisture and people congregate.

Plantar Warts Treatment and Solutions

While some over-the-counter medications can help treat the symptoms associated with plantar warts, the best treatment options include a consultation with a licensed professional. The most common and effective treatment solution is to promote an immune response to the virus at the site. A licensed Foot and Ankle doctor may freeze the plantar wart with liquid hydrogen to remove the callous and allow the immune system to fight off the virus. Other options include laser treatments, lancing the plantar wart with a scalpel, or burning it off with a topical chemical.

Are You Suffering from Painful Plantar Warts?

If you believe you have, or have been diagnosed with, painful plantar warts, schedule a consultation with Diablo Foot and Ankle today. Our team of experienced, qualified, and licensed doctors and nurses is here to help you get the best treatment available. Stop living with nagging foot pain; we can help! We have helped our patients live a pain-free life through our commitment to patient satisfaction. You can get back on your feet as soon as possible. Call today to schedule a consultation or ask any questions of our knowledgeable staff. Discover the Diablo difference now!