Plantar warts are abnormal skin growths that appear on the soles of the feet. These frequently appear over pressure bearing surfaces of the feet. They are caused by the virus, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which enters the skin through cuts or injuries on the feet. These warts are contagious and can spread through direct contact between individuals and also in the same individual from one location to another.
Plantar warts occur more frequently among children and teenagers. A weakened immune system also plays a role. In addition, the virus grows well in warm and humid conditions and therefore is more likely to be acquired from places like swimming pools and locker rooms.
The diagnosis is apparent on clinical examination of the lesion. Occasionally, a biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis
Occasionally, the warts may resolve on their own, especially in children. Treatment of the warts is recommended in case of pain and if the individual desires removal for cosmetic reasons in a persistent wart. The following treatment options are available which all involve destruction of the wart tissue through chemical or physical means.
After treatment or removal of a wart, it is not uncommon for a new wart to develop in the same or different site. This occurs because the virus is difficult to completely remove from the site. The best way to prevent recurrence is to treat a wart as quickly as possible.