If you notice small fleshy growths on the bottom of your feet and heels, you may be suffering from plantar warts. At Queen City Foot and Ankle Specialists in Charlotte, North Carolina, board-certified podiatrist Roxanne Burgess, DPM, uses the latest advances to effectively rid you of your warts. If left untreated, warts can become painful and affect your mobility. To speak with a podiatrist about your warts, call or book an appointment online today.

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What causes plantar warts?

Warts are small, fleshy growths that are rough to the touch. Plantar warts are warts that develop on your heels and weight-bearing areas of your feet. Warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 100 different types of HPV, with only a few resulting in plantar warts. The virus can enter the outer layers of your skin through small cuts, cracks, and weak spots in the soles of your feet.

HPV thrives in warm, moist environments, so many people contract the virus by walking barefoot at public pools, gyms, and locker rooms. Although plantar warts can affect anyone, they are most common in children, teenagers, and people with weakened immune systems. Without proper treatment, plantar warts have a tendency to spread and recur.

What are the symptoms of plantar warts?

Plantar warts cause you to develop small patches of grainy, rough skin. Warts often feature tiny black dots in the middle of the growth. Warts can appear flesh-colored, white, pink, or tan. Plantar warts can also cause pain or tenderness when walking or placing weight on your feet.

If your plantar warts become painful, they can alter the way you stand or walk, leading to more complications like joint or muscle pain. If your warts are causing you pain or haven’t responded to at-home care, Queen City Foot and Ankle Specialists can help you find the right treatment for your condition.

How are warts treated?

In most cases, plantar warts are harmless and may go away on their own in a year or two. If you aren’t interested in waiting that long, there are a number of effective ways to rid you of unsightly warts. If your condition is mild, Dr. Burgess may begin treatment with a prescription-strength wart medication that contains salicylic acid.

Cryotherapy is another effective treatment used to freeze and destroy plantar warts. If your condition doesn’t respond to more conservative measures, Dr. Burgess also offers laser treatment. She uses the laser to destroy the infected tissue, allowing the wart to fall off and your skin to return to normal.

How can I prevent warts?

There are steps you can take to protect your feet from bothersome plantar warts. These include:

  • Avoiding contact with warts
  • Keeping your feet clean and dry
  • Changing your socks daily
  • Wearing protective footwear at public gyms and pools

Plantar warts can be bothersome and unsightly. With the right treatment, you can effectively remove your plantar warts and prevent them from recurring. To find out which treatment is right for you, book an appointment by phone or online today.