What are plantar warts?

Warts are soft tissue growths that can occur on anywhere on the skin, including the soles of your feet. A wart that develops on the bottom of your foot is called a plantar wart. Warts are usually not painful, although they can be if a plantar wart is located on the ball or heel of the foot.

How can you get a plantar wart?

All warts result from a viral infection of the skin caused by direct skin-to-skin contact. The virus, called Human Papillomavirus (HPV), enters the skin through a cut. The cut may be so small that it is invisible to the naked eye. Plantar warts are contracted in public places where people walk around barefoot like locker rooms, pools, gyms, and salons where foot care treatments such as pedicures are performed.

Are plantar warts contagious?

All warts, including plantar warts, are very contagious and are easily spread by physical contact including touching or scratching, with skin shed from another wart.

How do you know it’s a wart?

Often mistaken for benign lesions such as corns or calluses, plantar warts are often discovered while visiting a podiatry office for foot care. Plantar warts are gray or brown in color, while common warts are white, tan, flesh colored, or pink in color. Serious malignant lesions can also be mistaken for a wart, which is why it’s important to have any suspicious lesion checked by a podiatry specialist at Boston Common Podiatry.

Plantar warts on the bottom of the foot are generally hard and flat, with a rough surface. They may have tiny black pinpoints scattered throughout. Warts on the top of the foot are raised and more fleshy looking.


If left untreated warts, including plantar warts, can spread to other parts of the body. Self-treatment using over the counter acid preparations or freezing solutions is an option for many, but should be avoided by anyone with diabetes or circulatory disorders.

If you suspect a wart, contact Boston Common Podiatry to confirm a diagnosis and get professional treatment, which may be a combination of shaving, application of a very strong acid, laser, freezing, or surgical excision. A series of treatments may be necessary to successfully eradicate plantar warts, which may grow deep into the skin.