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Plantar Warts

Optima Foot and Ankle

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Bend, OR

Plantar warts usually develop on the weight-bearing areas of your feet, making even simple tasks like walking the dog or climbing a flight of stairs painful. Fortunately, with prompt attention, they’re also easy to treat and resolve. At Optima Foot and Ankle, with a convenient location in Bend, Oregon, expert podiatrist Laura Schweger, DPM, regularly works with men, women, and children to address plantar warts. To request your appointment today, call the office nearest you or book online.

Plantar Warts Q&A

What are plantar warts?

Plantar warts are small, skin-colored bumps that usually develop on the heels and balls of your feet. They’re caused by a strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and develop when the virus breaks through cuts, scrapes, or fissures in your skin. 

Anyone can develop plantar warts, but they’re especially common in children and adolescents. You’re also at a higher risk if you have a chronic condition like diabetes, or you walk around barefoot in public facilities like locker rooms or swimming pools. 

What are the symptoms of plantar warts?

Plantar warts affect everyone differently. Common telltale signs of plantar warts include:

  • Small fleshy, grainy growths
  • Hardened, thick skin over a well-defined bump
  • Pain when walking or standing
  • Tenderness when walking or standing

Plantar warts also have a black dot in the center, called the “seed.” This is actually a group of clotted blood vessels that supply the wart with oxygen. 

When should I see a podiatrist about plantar warts?

Many plantar warts subside on their own with conservative measures of at-home care. However, you should make an appointment with the providers at Optima Foot and Ankle if: 

  • Your warts change in appearance or color
  • Your warts bleed
  • Your discomfort prevents you from routine activities
  • You have a weakened immune system
  • You have diabetes

You should also make an appointment at Optima Foot and Ankle if you notice your warts growing in size or spreading to other areas of your feet. 

How are plantar warts diagnosed?

To diagnose warts, your Optima Foot and Ankle provider examines your feet and toes and asks you about your symptoms. Your provider also:

  • Pares the lesion with a scalpel
  • Examines each lesion with magnification
  • Gently presses on each lesion
  • Removes a small sample for biopsy

Your provider might also ask you about your hygiene and whether or not you regularly walk around barefoot. 

How are plantar warts treated?

Treatment for plantar warts depends on the severity of your symptoms, but the team at Optima Foot and Ankle usually recommends avoiding over-the-counter treatments. These medications are harsh and may result in open wounds or ulcers. 

Following a thorough exam, your provider might recommend wart removal with salicylic acid, cryotherapy (freezing), or a combination of both. If your warts persist or continue to spread, surgical removal may be necessary.

To request a plantar warts appointment at Optima Foot and Ankle, call the office nearest you or book one online today.