Plantar warts and how we treat them

Warts and how we treat them

What are plantar warts?

Plantar warts are one of the most common dermatological infections of the skin. It is also commonly known as verruca pedis, directly translating to “wart of the foot”. It is caused by direct contact or exposure of the human papilloma virus (HPV) to the epidermis through small blisters/abrasions on the bottom of the foot. It can be highly contagious and is acquired from person-to-person or from the environment such as swimming pools and showers, and skin being broken or wet allows the virus to infect the foot more easily.

How do plantar warts present?

  • Firm, covered by callus with tiny pinpoint petechiae (Tiny round, brown-purple spots due to bleeding under the skin) centrally due to vascular supply to the wart and epidermal thickening/hyperkeratinisation due to HPV infection of the keratinocytes

  • Could present with a cauliflower like appearance

  • Smooth surface with a grey or yellow colour

  • Can occur over areas of pressure or bony prominences


  • Conservative treatment at Foot Body Sole usually involves a combination of the following and MOST of our cases resolve in just 5-7 treatments:

  • Spontaneous resolution – the immune system is eventually able to destroy the verruca pedis virus

  • Cryotherapy (e.g. liquid nitrogen)

  • Use of salicylic acid and silver nitrate sticks (Usually used in combination with Cryotherapy)

  • SWIFT Therapy (a new exciting addition to the clinic - will be discussed later in another blog!)

  • Keeping the foot dry and the wart suffocated using sports tape 

  • Wearing thongs in wet or communal areas to stop cross infection

Surgical treatment:

  • Electrocautery

  • Excision

  • Curettage

If you have been suffering from your plantar warts and just can’t seem to get rid of them, book online by clicking below or ring 1800 778 316 and see one of our friendly podiatrists - we’ve got extra tips, treatment plans and more to help!

44 views0 comments