What are plantar warts? Plantar means the bottom of your foot and warts are little growths that can be found on fingers and feet.

What Causes Plantar Warts?

Warts are caused by a virus. It's pretty localized to the area where you find the wart, meaning you're not infected throughout your body with it. Once you have warts, most of the time, what we're treating is what we see, and we can't see virus. We just see the growth that's present.

What Do Plantar Warts Look Like?

On the fingers they look like a little cauliflower. On the feet they compress flat, but they hurt more when they're squeezed from side to side than with direct pressure. And if they get cut or scraped, little tiny black dots form indicating bleeding within the wart.

How Do You Prevent Plantar Warts?

It's important to avoid picking at warts so they don't bleed; that can cause them to spread. If you touch them, wash your hands before you do anything else.

Warts are common in children. Kids feet sweat a lot more making warts more transmissable. To prevent them in this population, be sure kids don’t go barefoot particular when they’re at the swimming pool or in locker rooms. Warts can be transmitted from foot to foot, from foot to hand or from person to person. So they are contagious and they should be treated.

How Do You Treat Plantar Warts?

Over the years there've been many methods for treating warts. Most of them are trying to destroy the wart. That can be with chemicals, laser, or electrical treatment. The newest is microwave treatment. Once the wart is treated and it can take several treatments, you should be pain-free.

So, if you have a wart or think you have a wart, have it evaluated, and if it is a wart, do have it treated before you spread it to others.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.