When Do You Know a Plantar Wart Is Gone?

Reviewed on 9/27/2022

How Are Plantar Warts Removed?

A person's foot with plantar warts getting treated by a doctor
A plantar wart will appear to have gone away if the area feels smooth, there are visible lines of the skin crossing the treated area, there are no black dots, and the skin area may appear lighter.

A plantar wart is a harmless skin growth that develops on the bottom of the feet and may cause pain when walking.

Most plantar warts are benign and do not need to be treated. Some plantar warts go away on their own in months or years. 

Home remedies to get rid of plantar warts include: 

  • Salicylic acid gels, ointments, or pads available over-the-counter (OTC)
    • Salicylic acid treatments may need to be continued for two to three months
  • Duct tape over the wart
    • The tape may need to be used for one to two months
    • Use as directed by your doctor
  • Use a doughnut-shaped felt or moleskin patch to pad the wart to relieve pressure
  • Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicine 
  • Wear comfortable shoes and socks
    • Avoid high heels or shoes that put a lot of pressure on your foot

It can take months for treatments for plantar warts to work. Signs a plantar wart is gone may include: 

  • The area should feel smooth, without bumps
  • Visible lines of the skin crossing the treated area
  • There should be no black dots
  • The skin may appear lighter in the area where the wart was located

If home remedies do not get rid of the wart and it is causing symptoms, medical treatment for plantar warts includes: 

  • Cryotherapy 
    • Freezes the wart
    • Some products are available over-the-counter (OTC) and some are prescription
  • Cantharidin
  • Electrosurgery and curettage
  • Excision
  • Laser treatment
  • Chemical peels
  • Bleomycin
  • Immunotherapy

What Are Symptoms of Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts often do not cause any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include: 

  • Local pain or irritation
    • May be uncomfortable or painful to walk or stand
  • Thickened skin
    • Small, rough growth
    • Can look like a callus
  • Tiny black dots on the surface of the wart

 

What Causes Plantar Warts?

  • Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which also causes warts on other parts of the body. 
  • There are many different types of HPVs, but only a few types cause plantar warts. 
  • The virus can enter the skin though small cuts or scrapes on the skin after direct contact with recently shed viruses from an infected person. The virus is not highly contagious, but it can be kept alive in warm, moist environments such as a locker room, or by direct contact with an infected person.

How Are Plantar Warts Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of plantar warts is made with a physical examination. If the diagnosis is uncertain, tests may include: 

  • Skin scrapings
  • Biopsy

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Reviewed on 9/27/2022
References
REFERENCES:

Image source: iStock Images

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=uf8629

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/warts-overview

https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/plantarwarts.pdf