Warts are usually safe and go away after a few months or years. Plantar warts that grow on the soles of your feet usually don’t require treatment and go away on their own. Treatment is necessary, though, if they are causing pain or spreading. In general, doctors will start with the option that is least likely to cause scarring and pain. Different medical treatment options for removing warts include cryotherapy, cantharidin, immunotherapy, imiquimod, minor surgery, and laser treatment.
What Causes Plantar Warts?
A common cause of plantar warts is an infection (the human papillomavirus) on the soles of your feet. There are over 100 strands of this virus, though only a few cause warts on your feet. Overall, the strain of HPV that causes these warts is not extremely contagious. Walking barefoot around gyms, pools, shower floors, or other public places is most often contracted. Cracks or cuts in your skin can create an entry point, and the chance of being infected with the virus increases.
It’s recommended that you see a doctor if any of the following occur:
- Warts or lesions are causing pain
- Warts change color or appearance
- Warts multiply after home treatment
- Warts interfere with daily activities
- You have diabetes or nerve damage
- You have been diagnosed with HIV
- You take immune-suppressing drugs
- You doubt the lesion is a wart
NOTE: Due to the higher risk of infection, people with nerve damage in their feet, diabetes, or a weakened immune system need treatment under a doctor-supervised foot care program.