Podiatry & Foot and Ankle Surgery located in Peoria, AZ



Plantar warts, those stubborn and often painful growths on the soles of the feet, can be a source of discomfort and frustration for many. Caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), these warts thrive in warm, moist environments, making our feet an ideal location for them to develop. While plantar warts can sometimes resolve on their own, many require professional treatment to remove them effectively. 

Warts Q&A

What are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are noncancerous skin growths that appear on the soles of the feet. They are caused by certain strains of HPV, which enters the body through tiny cuts or breaks in the skin on the bottom of the feet. Plantar warts are characterized by their hard, grainy appearance and may have black pinpoints, which are small, clotted blood vessels.


How are Plantar Warts Spread?

HPV is highly contagious and can be spread through direct contact with the wart or something that touched the wart, such as floors or towels in communal areas like locker rooms or swimming pools. Not everyone who comes into contact with HPV will develop plantar warts, as immune system strength plays a significant role in susceptibility.


What are the Symptoms of Plantar Warts?

The most common symptom is a small, rough growth on the sole of the foot, often on the base of the toes or the heel. These warts can cause discomfort or pain when standing or walking. In some cases, multiple warts can cluster together in a mosaic-like pattern.


How are Plantar Warts Diagnosed?

Most plantar warts can be diagnosed based on their appearance. In some cases, a healthcare provider may perform a biopsy—removing a small section of the wart to test for HPV. However, this is relatively rare and usually only done if the diagnosis is unclear or if the wart does not respond to standard treatments.


What Treatment Options are Available?

Treatment for plantar warts varies depending on their size and number, as well as the patient's preference and pain tolerance. Options include:

  • Over-the-counter salicylic acid preparations to peel away the wart.
  • In-Office Application of Cantharone  Read More About This Procedure
  • Cryotherapy, which involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen.
  • Other procedures, such as laser treatment, surgical removal, or immunotherapy, for resistant warts.



Can Plantar Warts be Prevented?

Reducing exposure to HPV can prevent plantar warts. Recommendations include wearing shoes in communal areas, keeping feet clean and dry, and avoiding direct contact with warts on other parts of the body or on other people.


To learn more about plantar warts, call Acacia Foot and Ankle Surgeons today at 623.439.2200, or schedule an appointment online