Font Size
A
A
A
1
...

Plantar Warts

Plantar Warts Overview

Warts are produced by an infection of the skin by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the most common viral infection of the skin. Plantar warts grow on the plantar surface or the sole of the foot. They can be found anywhere in this area but tend to produce symptoms in areas of pressure and friction. The virus that causes warts, the human papillomavirus, infects only the superficial layer of skin, producing a thickened callus-like growth that, if located in an areas subjected to pressure, can become quite tender.

Although warts characteristically resolve spontaneously, it is occasionally necessary to treat painful plantar warts. The incubation period (the period of time between infection and the production of the visible skin lesion) is unknown but estimates vary from months to years. Historical evidence is of little benefit in attempting to determine how one's wart was acquired. There are at least 120 different types of human papillomavirus (HPV), and certain types infect specific anatomical areas, like the plantar surface of the foot. Other HPV types that infect oral or genital mucous membranes are a cause of cervical and other genital cancer. Warts are ubiquitous infections, with least one-half of adults infected during their lifetime. The current prevalence of plantar warts in adults is unknown, but it is a fraction of the estimated 7%-10% of adults with all types of wart infections.

  • Plantar warts are seen in all age groups, but they are most common among children 12-16 years of age and rare in the elderly.
  • Risk factors for the development of plantar warts include
    • use of public showers,
    • skin trauma,
    • weakened immune system because of certain medications used or illness.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/3/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Plantar Warts

Corns and Calluses
Corns and Calluses A callus (tyloma) is an area of skin that thickens after exposure to repetitive forces in order to protect the skin. A callus may not be painful. A corn is a ca...learn more >>
Leg Pain
Leg Pain There are a variety of causes of leg pain. Some of the common causes include fractures, strains, sprains, bleeding, diseases such as gout, peripheral artery dis...learn more >>
Warts
Warts Warts are small harmless tumors of the skin caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus. The three most common types of nongenital warts include common wa...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Plantar Warts:

Plantar Warts - Experience

What was your experience with plantar warts?

Plantar Warts - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your plantar warts?

Plantar Warts - Treatment

What was the effective treatment for your plantar warts?



NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Warts, Plantar »

Plantar warts are hyperkeratotic lesions on the plantar surface.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary