Plantar warts are noncancerous (benign) skin growths that develop on the bottom of the foot and usually appear as areas of thick, tough skin similar to calluses. They can be on any part of the foot, but they cause the most discomfort when they are on a pressure point such as the heel.
The cause of plantar warts is a virus (human papillomavirus, or HPV). This virus is contagious and may be spread from:
It may take 1 or more months for a plantar wart to appear after a person has first been exposed to the virus. Symptoms and signs of plantar warts may include:
Plantar warts are often hard to get rid of, no matter what treatment is used, and they often come back. But within 2 years or so, warts usually disappear with or without treatment. Treatment to get rid of warts may include nonprescription and prescription medicines or minor surgery.
Last Revised: September 7, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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