Plantar warts are a common complaint that we see as podiatrists, especially common in children.
Often mistaken for a corn, a plantar wart is caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and is a benign lesion of the outer surfaces of the skin on the foot or toes. It can sometimes appear as a white, circular lesion with small black dots throughout.
Plantar warts can be tricky to treat as there is no “cure”. Given it is caused by a virus, your immune system is required to fight off the infection, so our treatments are aimed to trigger an immune response to eradicate the virus.
A plantar wart can sometimes cause pain with direct pressure from walking or from footwear. Given that plantar warts are a virus, they commonly present with more than one lesion, as they can spread.
A Podiatrist will usually diagnose a plantar wart based on appearance and whether or not pain can be elicited with medial-lateral compression of the lesion. Pinpoint bleeding may also occur with debridement of the hardened skin over the top of the lesion.
There is no current vaccine available for prevention of the strain of HPV that causes plantar warts.
In the Podiatry clinic, we have access to more advanced topical preparations to treat plantar warts such as:
- High dose Salicylic acid
- Liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy)
- Cantherone Plus
These treatments have been found to be effective in treating stubborn plantar warts and often treatment doesn’t involve any pain, which is why they are often suitable for kids.
Plantar warts often respond to treatment better when caught early.