Plantar Warts

What are they?

Plantar warts are lesions which occur on the soles of the feet. They are generally well circumscribed lesions which can occur as singular or multiple lesions. Unlike corns or calluses which tend to look quite similar, warts have no skin lines running through them, are painful to squeeze and often have small black dots in their centre which represent the blood vessels within the wart tissue.

What causes them?

Warts are caused by a virus. There are many different types of wart viruses, some more resistant than others. The wart virus can be picked up in public showers, swimming centres and walking barefoot over infected areas. Warts tend to be very contagious so family members with warts should take care to prevent spread of the infection.

How are they treated?

  • Boost the immune system just as you do to fight cold and flu viruses (i.e. Good diet and Vitamin/Mineral supplements may be advised).
  • Chemical cautery is often the first line of treatment used for plantar warts. Specific chemicals are used under close supervision in conjunction with careful debridement in an effort to breakdown of wart tissue and initiate an auto-immune response. Single warts usually require between 4 and 8 treatments. Multiple warts may be more resistant and take longer to eradicate.
  • Wart patches and various wart paints or tinctures may be prescribed by your Podiatrist for use between podiatry consultations. These should only be used under strict supervision especially if you have Diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or any circulation disorders.
  • Laser Treatment is now used for very resistant warts which fail to respond to regular chemical cautery.

If you need some assistance with managing warts, contact Podiatry Care.