The name given for warts found on the foot, Plantar warts are a common occurrence for many people – especially children. For the most part, these warts have minor symptoms and often go away on their own without the need for treatment or a trip to the doctor . But sometimes, complications can cause them to become painful and uncomfortable, resulting in the need for a specialist foot doctor such as a podiatrist.
Like other types of warts, Plantar foot warts are hard growths that appear on the underside of the foot – most commonly on the heels or the balls of the foot, which feel the most pressure. Due to the pressure that occurs during walking and standing, this type of wart may grow inward, underneath a thick layer of skin called a callus. Sometimes, a cluster of warts will appear in the same area, which happens due to the fact that they are contagious.
This is why it is often better and safer to avoid attempts at home treatment – especially if you are feeling any pain or complications, or you are not absolutely certain whether it is a wart or a growth of another sort.
What Causes Warts on the Feet?
Warts under the foot are caused by the human Papilloma virus (HPV). Many people think that these warts are malignant, or related to more serious strains of HPV such as herpes. In fact, warts are not harmful and most will go away on their own in a year or two without the need for any treatment.
Some situations could however make it a bit easier for the virus to spread. It does so through small cuts, broken skin or other weakened areas underneath your foot. If you spend a lot of time at indoor pools, walk around barefoot in public showers or come into contact with someone who has warts when you have a sore on your foot, the virus may transmit to your body.
People who have a weaker immune system might find that they are more likely to get a wart, but even the healthiest person on the planet could find themselves with a wart on the heel. Despite being mostly harmless, one of the main reasons that someone will seek medical treatment is irritation and minor pain, or the unsightly look that can make those who have them feel self-conscious when barefoot.
Plantar Wart Symptoms
Plantar wart or dangerous growth? This is a serious question that should be considered carefully before making any assumptions. The simplest way to tell whether that hard bump on your heel or sole is anything to worry about or whether you can treat it at home is to understand the symptoms so that you can decide if a podiatrist visit is needed.
Plantar wart symptoms include the following:
Small, fleshy, rough, grainy growth situated on the bottom of your foot, on the heel or pad;
Hard, thick skin that forms a callus over a spot on the skin, where the wart has grown inward;
Black pinpoints in the wart (commonly called wart seeds but are in fact small, clotted blood vessels);
Lesion that intersects the normal lines and ridges in your foot’s skin;
Pain or tenderness under the foot when standing or walking.
Seek medical treatment if you experience any of the following:
Increased pain or changes in shape or colour;
Any wart that keeps returning, worsening or persisting after treatment;
Pain and discomfort that interferes with everyday life;
A current case of diabetes or poor sensation in your feet that requires specialised treatment;
Current weakened immune system due to medication or immune system diseases;
Lack of certainty that the growth is a wart.