A plantar wart signals the invasion of a virus just beneath the skin of your foot, often through a small cut or opening in the skin.
While this virus in itself tends to be mostly harmless, it can create hard, flat, rough bumps where it dwells. You might also see little pinpoints of black, sometimes called “seeds.” (Note: These are not seeds and you should not try to pick them out. They are actually small blood vessels that have grown into the wart.)
We already know warts come from a virus, but how does that virus spread? Usually it’s picked up by coming into contact with another’s warts, or by walking barefoot in areas where the virus can thrive, such as locker rooms or around public pools.
The virus itself is not extremely contagious, but it’s best not to risk yourself in areas of high exposure. Children and teenagers also tend to be more susceptible to infection.
Plantar warts do tend to go away on their own, but this can take a very long time. Sometimes plantar warts will disappear only to reappear again later on.
And yes, we know about duct tape and other home remedies for warts. There is no problem in trying them if you are not cutting yourself or otherwise causing additional harm. There is just not a lot of scientific evidence that supports these methods are being effective at this time.
When should you see a podiatrist about plantar warts?
- Plantar warts can sometimes be painful, especially if developing in high-pressure areas such as the heel. Pain is never something you should have to endure, and is always worth seeing us about!
- Your warts persist, keep returning, or multiply.
- You have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet.
- The wart is bleeding or changes in appearance or color.
Treatments for warts may involve applications of medicine to dry out the wart or anti-viral medications that destroy the wart. Laser treatments and minor surgical procedures could also be considered.