What are plantar warts?

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.


While most cases of plantar warts can go away on their own with time, most people want faster relief. The goal of podiatric treatment for plantar warts is to completely remove the wart, not cover it up. Common warning signs of plantar warts include:

  • Small, fleshy and rough growths develop

  • Hard, thickened skin forms

  • Formation of small clotted blood vessels

  • Pain when walking or standing

  • Tenderness in the affected area


If walking becomes painful or the warts are spreading, there are over-the-counter treatments available—though these often require multiple treatments and are still ineffective. When self-care and home remedies fail, visit your podiatrist. Your doctor may recommend these conservative, non-invasive treatments:

  • Prescription-strength wart medications

  • Cryotherapy (freezing the wart off)

  • Immune therapy

  • Minor surgery to cut away the wart

  • Laser treatment