Warts are viral infections which appear as small, hard bumps. They can develop anywhere on the body, but when a wart develops on the bottom of the foot—called a plantar wart—it can pose unique challenges and cause pain or soreness during walking.
Plantar warts are fairly common and they can occur with any patient. Dr. Yeargain has years of experience monitoring and treating warts, which are best treated by a specialist to ensure the virus is completely eradicated in the safest and most comfortable manner. If you think you have developed a plantar wart, or are experiencing a bump or pain in the bottom of the foot, call our office. Dr. Yeargain will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to meet your needs.
What causes plantar warts?
Warts are caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus, or HPV, family. This virus is more prevalent in the environment than one may expect, but they typically only cause a plantar wart when there is a cut or opening which allows it to enter the outer layer of skin. Not to worry—they are benign growths that are very commonly treated at Yeargain Foot & Ankle.
Most commonly, patients’ feet will be exposed to the virus causing plantar warts at the gym, salon, or even in their shared home shower. Unfortunately, plantar warts mostly occur by simple bad luck.
Will plantar warts go away on their own?
No, a plantar wart is not likely to go away on its own. And Dr. Yeargain generally recommends against over-the-counter wart medications, because these acid treatments tend to be poorly regulated in terms of strength. He sees some patients come in with blisters, burns, or even ulcers from at-home wart medications being too aggressive. For that reason, it is always recommended to see a specialist for warts—especially plantar warts, as the skin on the bottom of the foot is thicker and poses unique challenges.
How are plantar warts treated?
Because they are a virus, treatment for warts can be more unpredictable. In addition, there is a lot of extra callus tissue on bottom of the foot, or the plantar area, which means the plantar wart might exist under about eight layers of superficial skin.
While there are different ways to treat plantar warts, Dr. Yeargain will typically scrape some of the surface-level skin away first. The majority of this is dead skin cells, so it shouldn’t be painful. Once he gets to the infected cells of the plantar wart, he will apply a topical acid wart treatment in order to kill the virus itself. Then, a bandage will be kept on the area for 24 hours. Sometimes, Dr. Yeargain will also dispense a home cream to apply nightly until the next visit to help soften the skin.
How long do plantar warts take to go away?
Patients will return after two weeks for another plantar wart treatment—the average number of treatments is typically only two or three. As with all treatments at Yeargain Foot & Ankle, Dr. Yeargain caters each care plan to the patients’ individual needs. He will have a discussion with you about any activities you have going on and set up a plan that fits your needs, ensuring all your questions and concerns are answered and addressed. Every step of the way, you’ll know what to expect.
Is plantar wart treatment painful?
No, plantar wart treatment is typically pain-free. Sometimes, certain medications used during treatment will cause a little blistering in the healing process, which can create mild soreness for a few days after your office visit. Depending on the wart’s location and severity, Dr. Yeargain will work with you to know what to expect throughout your treatment.
Do plantar warts occur more for adults or children?
How do I know if I have a plantar wart?
The easiest way to identify a plantar wart is that it will typically have little black dots or specks on it—these are called petechiae. The petechiae are small blood vessels which the virus is using to survive. However, if you have a painful spot on your foot—whether you think you stepped on a sharp object or have a callus or wart—it’s important to see a specialist as soon as possible to prevent it from developing complications. Dr. Yeargain will be able to differentiate between the different lesions that can occur and treat accordingly.
How do I know my plantar wart is gone?
The virus causing the wart is a microscopic organism, so it’s important to keep a close eye on it with a specialist to ensure it’s fully eradicated. After each in-office treatment, we recommend monitoring any skin changes or pain levels, and letting Dr. Yeargain know these details at your next visit.