Plantar Warts: A Look At Causes And Treatment Of These Annoying Growths

14 December 2015
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


If you've ever developed a plantar wart, you know how annoying these little growths can be. Their rough, flat appearance is nothing compared to the discomfort they cause when you put pressure on them. In order to fight these annoying warts on the bottoms of your feet, it's important to know a bit about their causes and some common treatment options.

What causes plantar warts?

Plantar warts are caused by the same virus that causes warts in other locations on your body: the human papilloma virus. The reason why they grow inward rather than outward like other warts is because when you walk on the soles of your feet, you put pressure on the affected tissue, forcing it inwards. Anyone can develop plantar warts, but you're at a higher risk of you spend a lot of time walking around locker rooms or other public areas in bare feet, since you may pick up the virus from the floor. Cracked skin on your feet may also put you at an increased risk.

How can plantar warts be treated at home?

Most warts will eventually go away on their own if you leave them be. However, many people wish to treat them so that they go away faster, since they can cause pain when you step on them. The most common at-home treatment is wart pads that contain salicylic acid. Stick one on the wart and replace it every day or so (according to package instructions), and with any luck, your wart will peel away within a week or two.

If you prefer a more natural method of wart removal, you can try applying lemon essential oil to the area every morning and night. Some patients have claimed this has worked for them.

How can your podiatrist treat plantar warts?

If at-home treatments are not working or you want immediate relief, you can try seeing your podiatrist for plantar wart treatment. He or she may recommend one of several methods depending on the size and location of your warts:

  • Freezing treatment involves applying liquid nitrogen to the wart, essentially freezing it off.
  • Laser therapy involves killing the blood vessels that lead to the wart tissue, cutting off its blood supply and killing it.
  • Surgery involves completely removing the wart with a scalpel.

Each of these procedures has its own benefits and drawbacks, which your podiatrist will discuss with you prior to treatment. Contact a professional like one from Foot & Ankle Care Center PA for more information.