What is a Plantar Wart?
A plantar wart is a hard, grainy growth that usually appears on bottom of the foot, in areas where the most pressure is absorbed. Plantar warts occur when the human papillomavirus (HPV) makes contact with the skin on the soles of feet. The virus is usually introduced into the body through small cuts or openings on the bottom of the foot, because they are spread through viral infections, those with weakened immune systems—such as children and senior citizens—are more likely to develop these warts. While most warts are visible, some plantar warts grow inwards—due to too much pressure—and form a callus.
Plantar wart signs and symptoms include:
- A small, fleshy, rough, grainy growth (lesion) on the bottom of your foot, usually the base of the toes and forefoot or the heel
- Hard, thickened skin (callus) over a well-defined “spot” on the skin, where a wart has grown inward
- Black pinpoints, which are commonly called wart seeds but are actually small, clotted blood vessels
- A lesion that interrupts the normal lines and ridges in the skin of your foot
- Pain or tenderness when walking or standing
If walking becomes painful or you notice the warts are spreading, it’s time to see a podiatrist. Your podiatrist can usually diagnose a plantar wart by completing a simple physical exam. He or she may remove a section of the lesion to send out for further testing.
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