Wart (Verruca)

Definition 

A wart is a small growth on the skin that develops when the skin is infected by a virus. Plantar warts are caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body and is acquired in public places where people go barefoot, such as locker rooms and swimming pools.  It can also be acquired at home if other family members have the virus. Warts can develop anywhere on the foot but usually occur on the bottom (plantar) of the foot.  Plantar warts most commonly occur in children, adolescents and the elderly.

Common warts found on the feet include plantar warts, solitary warts and mosaic warts.

What to look for:
Characteristics of warts include:

  • Callus tissue with small black dots.  The black dots are blood vessels that bring nutrients to the wart to help it survive and spread.
  • Pain when the wart is squeezed from side to side.

It is important to note that several different types of skin lesions are commonly found on the foot and ankle.  Therefore, it is highly recommended that a Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgeon diagnose any suspicious lesions.

Treatment 
Treatment options include topical acid (stronger than over the counter) and prescription medication.