Plantar warts, medically termed verruca pedis, are painful, solid and thickened lesions that are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). If the wart is located on the bottom of the foot, warts can be extremely painful and it can sometimes significantly affect a person’s quality of life.
Warts can be contracted or transmitted when an individual comes into direct contact with the virus when the outer layer of the skin becomes damaged. Sometimes, these warts can resemble calluses or corns. This is because, its location on the plantar aspect of the foot subjects the lesion to increased pressure and forces. Hence, it is necessary to seek professional assistance in order to determine the correct diagnosis and thus the correct treatment option for the lesion. Typically, warts can resolve on their own, it usually takes from a few months to 2 years to completely disappear. Often the pain can be unbearable for some (because of its location on the sole of the foot), in which case other treatment options may be required.
Treatment for plantar warts:
- If the wart isn’t bothering you, you can simply wait for resolution
- Topical acids for plantar warts
- Cryotherapy for plantar warts (this can be slightly painful)
- Laser plantar wart removal
- Wart surgery/curettage
Advice we give regarding warts:
- Make sure you don’t pick at or scratch your warts
- Cover the wart with medical tape to prevent spreading
- Avoid sharing articles of clothing that have come into contact with the lesion
- You can use a small corn pad (which fits the wart’s diameter) to offload the area.
Do I need surgery for my wart?
Wart surgery (curettage) is required if the wart is persistent, has been present for several years, is not responding to other treatment, is extremely painful or you require quick plantar wart removal. At the Perth Foot and Ankle Clinic we can perform the surgery here at our clinic in our operating room. The surgery typically involves numbing the area with local anaesthetic, after which one of our Podiatrists will remove the wart in a sterile manner; we also use a small amount of chemical to destroy any remaining wart tissue to reduce the risk of recurrence. Speak to one of Podiatrists if you require further information.