What is a plantar wart?

A wart, also referred to as a plantar wart, verrucae and papilloma, is a growth on the foot caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Warts are very common in children and those patients with suppressed immune systems. Warts can either be single and round or form in irregular clusters, known as mosaic warts. When warts occur in a weight bearing area of the foot a wart will grow into the superficial layers of the skin. These warts often cause pain as they can press on nerve endings.

Do you or your child suffer from plantar warts?

Signs & symptoms of warts

The following signs or symptoms may indicate a plantar wart on the foot:

  • A lesion on the foot or toes with a rough “cauliflower” like appearance.
  • A lesion on the foot or toes with black dots (blood vessels).
  • Warts on the feet can present as single round lesions or multiple irregular shaped (mosaic) lesions.
  • Warts that occur in a weight bearing area of the foot a wart will usually have thick crust or callus overlying it.
  •  Because warts have blood vessels they usually hurt when compressed or pinched, whilst corns hurt on direct pressure.
  • The majority of lesions on the bottom of the feet of young children often turn out to be plantar warts.
Plantar Wart Treatment Camberwell

Causes of plantar warts

Plantar warts or verrucae are caused by a virus, known as the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). This virus can be easily picked up when the foot is wet as this breaks down the foot’s natural skin barrier. For this reason swimming pools are often associated with wart infections as are patients who have excess sweaty feet and poor foot hygiene.

Contrary to popular belief plantar warts aren’t highly contagious. They aren’t spread easily from person to person through direct contact. The wart virus however thrives in moist, warm environments so you are more likely to pick up warts from wet public areas like swimming pool change rooms, gym locker rooms and shared bathrooms.

Anyone can get warts but children are more prone because their immune system has not yet fully developed. The majority of adults will have some immunity against the virus. Patients that have weak immune systems or on immunosupressant medication will be more prone to warts and often will have more difficulty in getting rid of warts.

Plantar wart diagnosis

Plantar warts, verrucae or pappilomas are easily diagnosed clinically by our Melbourne podiatrists, who are experts in identifying skin conditions of the foot without the need for further tests. Our podiatrists can also easily differentiate warts from corns which other health practitioners often misdiagnose.

Podiatry treatment for plantar warts

At Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics our podiatrists are experts in the treatment of plantar warts in both children and adults. Plantar wart treatment at our Melbourne clinic can range from simple home remedies to more aggressive treatments like liquid nitrogen and highly concentrated acids.

Children’s wart treatment at our Melbourne clinic is often painless and parents should not be concerned about bringing their children in for wart treatment from one of our children’s podiatrists.

In some cases warts can spontaneously disappear once the body’s immune system reaches a level which overcomes the virus. However if left untreated warts can sometimes grow bigger and spread to other parts of the feet making treatment more difficult and frustrating. For this reason it is always best to seek early intervention with a podiatrist if you think you have a wart on your foot for best treatment advice and results.

Call us Melbourne Podiatrist

Has a podiatrist checked your feet for plantar warts?

At our Melbourne foot clinic our podiatrists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. This includes plantar wart diagnosis and treatment in both children and adults.

So if you or your child is suffering from plantar warts book an appointment with one of our friendly podiatrists today!