Plantar Warts of the Feet & Toes

warts-062016Warts are a virus-based soft tissue condition that is most frequently experienced by teens and adolescents. Plantar warts (also known as verrucas, and verruca plantaris), one of the most common cases, are simply warts on the soul or ball of the foot. Plantar warts are caused when viruses enter the skin through a small or invisible cut or abrasion.

It’s important to take care of warts as soon as they are discovered; warts can easily spread or become more irritable and painful when left untreated. They can also bleed, which can create other health concerns.  Schedule an appointment at Advanced Foot & Ankle – we frequently have same-day appointments available to help address issues right away.


Bare feet in direct contact with unsanitary/dirty surfaces are one of the primary causes for warts.  Viruses thrive in moist, warm environments, making communal bathing facilities a hub for foot infection.

Warts of the feet are spread by:

  • Touching infected areas
  • Scratching the infected areas
  • Contact with skin shed from another wart
  • Wart rupture and bleeding

Symptoms & Identification

When plantar warts develop, they can cause needle like pain and a burning sensation.  The pain is triggered when weight is distributed directly on the wart or sides of the wart.

Warts are sometimes mistakenly thought to be a corn or a callus.  On the other hand, sometimes more serious lesions (like carcinomas and melanomas) are misdiagnosed as warts.

You can frequently identify plantar warts by these characteristics:

  • Coarse in feel
  • Somewhat flat
  • Defined in perimeter
  • Gray to brown in coloring
  • Containing black dots in their center

In comparison, warts on the toes and top of the feet are often more embossed and stout.


Care & Treatment

The treatment of warts has become commonplace in podiatry.  Our podiatrists and foot & ankle surgeons, are certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and are well equipped to treat these cases effectively.

We seek conservative treatment first through topical prescription wart removal options.  If necessary, we can schedule a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove the wart. In some cases, a minor laser removal may be an appropriate option, which will also reduce scarring. The invasive surgical procedures require local anesthesia and are typically outpatient treatments.

Self-diagnosis and treatment is usually frowned upon; over-the-counter wart removal treatments include chemicals, which can damage and kill skin cells causing wounds and possible infection.

Anytime you notice a rupture or growth on your foot you should have it checked by a professional. To have your potential Plantar Warts assessed or treated, find the Advanced Foot & Ankle Care Center nearest you, and contact us to schedule an appointment today.