Condition spotlight

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts, also known as verrucas, are thick, rough callus-like lesions that occur on the sole of the foot. Warts can occur on their own (ie. solitary), or in clusters (ie. mosaic). Verrucas can be seen in all age groups but are particularly common in children and the elderly. When on weight bearing areas, they can become quite uncomfortable when pressure is applied while standing, walking or running.

 

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Frequently asked questions about Plantar Warts

Do warts come back?

The HPV stays in the body for the rest of your life and therefore warts can return at any time, anywhere on the body. It is not uncommon for them to return to the same place as previous warts. They are more likely to recur in patients that are immunocompromised, or frequent smokers.

How do I make sure plantar warts don’t come back?

Once you have a wart there is a chance it can come back. You can certainly reduce the risk of contact by wearing shoes especially in areas where people regularly walk barefoot (eg. swimming pools and locker rooms). If you live with someone who has warts, it’s best to avoid going barefoot in spaces you share with them.

Should I try treatment from the chemist first?

Over the counter treatments from the chemist normally have a smaller percentage of salicylic acid, however they can actually do more harm than good. If not applied correctly, the acid can burn the surrounding healthy tissue causing unnecessary pain, and may even result in an open wound or infection. These treatments are especially dangerous for people with reduced feeling or blood flow to their feet. If you are pregnant, immunocompromised, or have a condition affecting the nerves or circulation in the feet (eg. diabetes) you should never try these treatments at home.

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