DefinitionPlantar warts are growths on the soles of the feet. They are often mistaken for corns or calluses. They grow in clusters and are usually flat. A plantar wart can often be distinguished by numerous black dots visible on their surfaces. Although plantar warts are generally harmless, their location beneath the feet can make them very tender. They also have a tendency to spread locally to other sites on the foot and elsewhere.
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CausesPlantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It can be contracted by walking barefoot on unsanitary surfaces. Touching and scratching can cause the virus to spread.
Risk FactorsPlantar warts are more common in children and teens. Other factors that may increase your chance of plantar warts include:
- Exposing your feet to unsanitary surfaces
- Suppressed immune system due to:
- Skin inflammation— eczema
SymptomsPlantar warts may cause:
- Hard, flat growths on the soles of the feet
- Heaped-up calluses surrounding the wart surfaces
- Pain in the area of the warts
DiagnosisThe doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your feet will be examined. Some doctors may wish to refer difficult cases to specialists. Podiatrists focus on foot disorders. Dermatologists focus on skin disorders.
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