The warts that occur on the bottom of the foot are referred to as plantar warts.

They appear as small, bumpy growths and are most common in those areas of the foot that experience the most pressure, that usually being the ball of the foot or the heel.

The increased pressure to these areas from walking or other physical activity that is weight bearing on the foot region, can see plantar warts in these locations penetrating more deeply into the foot tissue, the result being a fair degree of pain.

Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and although they are not a serious health concern, the pain that is often experienced in the weight bearing parts of the foot can make walking difficult.

Someone infected by this virus will see the top layer of the skin harden initially, followed by the formation of a wart which may vary in size from just a few millimetres to more than a centimetre. Warts can spread particularly well in moist environments such as those found in public showers, locker rooms and swimming areas, but not always will someone develop a plantar wart simply by coming into contact.

There are a number of clues that you may have a plantar wart.

  • Pain that feels like a lump beneath the foot
  • Localized hardening of the skin where the wart appears to be growing inward
  • A rough surface that protrudes slightly above the skin’s surface with an associated horny rim
  • Small, grainy lesions with tiny dark spots inside the affected area

At times several warts may be clustered into a small area, forming a larger lesion that is referred to as a mosaic wart.

A physical examination by a podiatrist will quickly determine whether you are presenting with plantar warts. Once diagnosed the most common therapy is the daily application of salicylic acid which will soften the skin layers of the wart enabling it to be peeled off, a process that may take several weeks.

In more difficult cases it may be more effective to inject the wart with medication, freeze them with liquid nitrogen or remove through a surgical process.

Left untreated plantar warts can become increasingly larger adding to the pain that may be experienced when walking or running.

Contact Bentley Podiatry today for more information.