Thumbnail image of: Plantar Warts: Illustration

Plantar Wart on Foot

What is a plantar wart?

A plantar wart is a small growth or bump on the skin of the bottom of your foot.

What is the cause?

Warts are caused by viruses. Warts can spread from another part of your body to your foot. You may get a wart from touching someone else’s warts. Some people get warts more easily than other people.

What are the symptoms?

You may notice a growth on the bottom of your foot. It may grow directly into the sole of your foot, it may stick out from the surface of the foot, or it may do both. It may hurt when you put weight on your foot.

How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine the bottom of your foot.

How is it treated?

Plantar warts can be treated in different ways. Your healthcare provider may:

  • Put medicine on top of the wart to help kill the wart virus and remove the wart tissue
  • Freeze the wart
  • Burn the wart
  • Inject medicine into the wart
  • Remove the wart with surgery

You can get nonprescription wart medicines and wart freezing applications at the drug store so you can treat the wart at home. Another treatment you can do at home uses duct tape: Cover the wart with duct tape. Once a week, remove the tape and soak the wart in water. Gently rub the wart with an emery board, sandpaper, or pumice stone. Put duct tape back on the wart about 12 hours later. Repeat this process until the wart is gone. It may take up to 2 months.

Most plantar warts go away without treatment in 6 months to 2 years. Some warts may not go away completely even with treatment, or they may grow back.

How can I take care of myself?

The wart may be less painful if you put a doughnut bandage over the wart. This type of bandage surrounds the wart, leaving a hole directly over the wart. It keeps pressure off the wart.

Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Ask your provider:

  • How long it will take to recover
  • What activities you should avoid, including how much you can lift, and when you can return to your normal activities
  • How to take care of yourself at home
  • What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them

Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup.

How can I help prevent plantar warts?

You are more likely to get a plantar wart if you walk barefoot a lot. Wearing shoes or sandals, especially in places like locker rooms, may help prevent plantar warts.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2013-08-05
Last reviewed: 2013-07-19
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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