Symptoms Of Plantar Warts

December 12, 2023

Plantar warts occur when small growths appear on the weight-bearing areas of the foot. The most common place for them is on the heel. The pressure from an individual's weight can sometimes lead to the warts growing inward underneath a thickened and hard layer of skin, otherwise known as a callus. This condition is caused by the human papillomavirus, which enters the body through small cuts, abrasions, or other weak openings in the bottom of the foot. The majority of plantar warts aren't indicative of a serious health concern. They tend to resolve without treatment after a while. If they're causing discomfort or cosmetic anxiety, though, patients might do self-care treatments at home or talk to a doctor about having them removed.


Calluses are one of the symptoms of plantar warts. When the warts don't appear on the surface of the skin, they sometimes grow underneath the skin, leading to a thickening and hardening of the skin (callus). It's common for calluses to develop on the feet, especially if individuals wear ill-fitting shoes or do a lot of standing and running. However, they aren't always a sign of plantar warts. Some calluses are good for the feet, as they help protect the skin against abrasions.

When calluses aren't caused by plantar warts, they tend to occur in areas where the skin has been repetitively rubbed or irritated. Calluses caused by plantar warts tend to be smaller than calluses caused by abrasions. They form over one well-defined spot. This is the place the wart has grown inward instead of growing from the surface of the skin. If individuals experience discomfort along with the callus, they should talk to a doctor, particularly if the discomfort interferes with their ability to do daily activities.

Black Spots On The Skin

Plantar warts tend to form with black spots on the skin. These are most commonly referred to as wart seeds. Many individuals mistakenly believe that these black spots are where warts are forming or will form in the future, but this isn't the case. The spots are tiny and clotted blood vessels. They tend to be small, looking more like pinpricks than large blotches. Some of the spots might appear inside the warts themselves, which is another factor leading to them being called seed warts. The spots aren't seeds or growths, and they can't be dug out.

Blood vessels grow into the wart and then cause clotting, which isn't the same as seeds. When individuals walk, the pressure from their feet can flatten the effect of plantar warts. They might not notice they have them, but they might notice little pinpricks that occur in strangely raised areas of their feet. Not every plantar wart forms with seeds. Some warts might develop little black pinpricks over time, rather than having them from the onset.

Pain When Standing Or Walking

Plantar warts don't always cause discomfort or pain. However, individuals might experience pain when standing or walking because of the pressure against the soles of their feet. Because plantar warts are most likely to form in the heel or other areas of the foot that bear weight, the tenderness might be increased. If the pain patients experience is serious enough to interfere with their day-to-day life, they should talk to a doctor about having the warts removed. There are several over-the-counter treatments they can try to help get rid of warts as well.

If individuals only experience slight discomfort, they can try these first, and then talk to a doctor if the treatment fails. Other conditions can also cause unusual tenderness and pain when patients walk or stand. Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the heel due to inflammation, and with this condition, the pain tends to be worse in the morning. Plantar warts cause tenderness that persists with ongoing pressure.

Rough And Fleshy Lesion

One characteristic sign of a plantar wart is a rough and fleshy lesion. Some individuals have multiple warts at once, while others might just have one or two. The wart tends to be a small, rough, and grainy growth located on the bottom of the foot. Rather than having a smooth texture, it tends to be dimpled and abrasive to the touch. It might be hard to tell whether a lesion is a wart, particularly since plantar warts are often flattened by the weight of the foot and therefore don't grow to highly noticeable sizes.

The lesion will often interrupt the normal ridges and lines in the skin of the feet. Individuals might notice a circular lesion or callus that breaks up the natural lines or wrinkles of the sole. Not all lesions on the feet require treatment by a doctor. Individuals should see a doctor if they notice that the lesion is bleeding or causing pain. Patients should also see a doctor if the lesion changes in color or appearance, as this could be a sign of a malignant growth.

Location Of Plantar Warts

The most common place for plantar warts to appear is on the heel of the foot, but they might also appear on the ball of the foot or underneath the toes. If individuals have flat feet, the might appear on the arch. Plantar warts can occur anywhere a foot bears weight. Palmar warts, on the other hand, are warts that form on the hands. Both plantar and palmar warts tend to be similar in growth, but plantar warts are often smaller and flatter because of the pressure from an individual's weight. Plantar warts form when a strain of the human papillomavirus enters through an abrasion in the foot. Some individuals develop them after showering in a place where another person with plantar warts just showered. Children can pass the virus on without meaning to by touching playground equipment or other areas.

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