Plantar warts are a common foot ailment that presents as a painful skin lesion that is caused by a common virus. They usually appear as a hard callus with small black spots on the heel or ball of the foot.

Plantar warts are caused by an infection with the human papilloma virus in the outermost layer of the skin on the soles of your feet. The virus thrives in warm, moist environments such as swimming pools or locker rooms.  Typically the virus requires a point of entry into the foot such as a cut or scrape. Although the virus that causes warts is contagious, not everyone who comes into contact with the virus develop a wart.

Plantar warts most commonly affect children and teenagers, those with weakened immune systems and those who walk barefoot in areas where exposure risk is high.

Sometimes plantar warts will go away on their own or respond well to over the counter treatments. However, if home treatments are failing, or the wart appears to be spreading, a visit to your podiatrist may be in order where they can employ specialized treatment protocols. 

There are ways that you can reduce the risk of developing a plantar wart. 

1. Avoid direct contact with warts, even your own (as you can spread the virus to your hands!)

2. Keep your feet clean and dry

3. Wear sandals or shower shoes around the pool or in locker room showers

4. Change your socks daily and cleans the inside of your shoes with a spray disinfectant such as Lysol regularly

If a plantar wart affects you or your child, make an appointment with one of our doctors today!

Dr. Misty McNeill
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D.P.M. - Founder of Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Clinic
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