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Foot Problems: Warts

A Wart is an infection caused by a virus, which can invade your skin through small cuts or breaks. Over time, the wart develops into a hard, rough growth on the surface of the skin. A wart will most commonly be found on the bottom of the foot, but can also appear on top. Children, teens and people with allergies or weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to the wart virus.

Symptoms

Warts may appear spongy, with tiny red, brown or black spots. They can grow up to an inch or more across, occurring alone (solitary) or with smaller warts clustered nearby (mosaic). Warts are sometimes mistaken for corns or calluses. They can persist for years and reoccur in the same spot. If left untreated, warts can spread to other parts of the foot or even to the hands or other areas of the body.

Treatment

One of our podiatrists will examine your wart carefully to determine that it is not a corn or callus. A wart will usually feel painful when squeezed from side to side. To examine the wart further, the hard skin layer around it may need to be trimmed. A wart will have certain spots that bleed when trimmed, a callus will not.

There are many ways to treat warts, depending on their size and location. Medication or surgical removal, or both, may be effective treatments.

Medication

The wart is broken down by applying an acidic medication. Blister-forming medication may also be used. This treatment may need to be repeated over several weeks.

Curettage

The wart is removed with a small, spoon-shaped instrument (curette). A local anesthetic is often used to lessen the pain with this procedure.

Laser Surgery

The wart is removed with a laser and local anesthetic is used to lessen the pain in this procedure as well.