What is a Plantar Wart?Plantar warts

Warts are the most common infection of the skin caused by a virus. Plantar warts grow on the plantar, or bottom surface of the foot. They tend to be found in areas of pressure such as the heel and ball of the foot. Plantar warts often grow into the deeper layers of skin because of the pressure they receive because of their location.

Generally, warts go away on their own with time, but plantar warts should be treated to lessen symptoms, especially pain, to decrease duration of symptoms, and to reduce transmission to others. Because the incubation period for warts is from 1-20 months, it is difficult to tell exactly when the virus was introduced into the body.

Plantar warts may cause pain, particularly when walking. They may spread to other sites. They do not, however, usually spread to areas that are a different kind of skin. In other words, plantar warts do not spread to the genitalia.

  • In the United States, 7-10% of people have warts.
  • Plantar warts are seen in all age groups, but they are most common among children aged 12-16 years.



  • Use of public showers
  • Skin trauma
  • Weakened immune system because of certain drugs used or illness


The human papilloma virus HPV) causes plantar warts. The virus attacks the skin through direct contact. Normally, antibodies in the blood kill the virus. Some people are more susceptible to the human papilloma virus than others.

The HPV takes refuge in the skin. This occurs through breaks in the surface of the outer layer of skin called the epidermis.  Such exposure is frequently associated with public shower rooms or walking barefoot on dirty surfaces or littered ground where the virus is lurking.


  1. Foot pain– Feels like a lump under the foot
  2. Leg or back pain – Possibly causes poor posture
  3. Firm, warty (rough, bumpy, and spongy, some appear thick and scaly) lesions with tiny pinpoint dark spots inside (not always apparent)
  4. Smooth surface with a gray-yellow or brown color
  5. Located over areas of pressure or bony point such as the heel and ball of the foot
  6. Usually flat because of pressure
  7. Several warts fusing to form mosaic warts

When to Seek Medical Care

Warts will appear over a relatively short period of time in an area where no callus tissue has been noted before. Corns and calluses usually develop very gradually over several years. It is wise to consult a physician when you are unsure whether you have a plantar wart or another condition, such as a corn, callus, mole, or skin lesion.

Most such growths are harmless, but some can become cancerous. It is also possible for a variety of more serious lesions to appear on the foot, including malignant lesions such as carcinomas and melanomas. Although rare, these conditions can sometimes be misidentified as a wart.

    Seek medical attention for these conditions:

  • You or your child have warts and want them removed.
  • Severe pain, redness, swelling, bleeding, or large lesions develop.
  • After removal by a physician by various methods, including freezing or burning, signs of infection appear at the treatment site. If the area becomes red, hot, painful, and tender after treatment, an infection may have set in.
  • After treatment, fever develops.
  • Warts don’t disappear completely after treatment.
  • Other warts appear after treatment.

Plantar warts are rarely an emergency; however, the complications of aggressive therapy can be. Bleeding, severe pain, inability to walk, redness, swelling, streaking, and boil or abscess  formation can all indicate an emergency.

Exams and Tests

The diagnosis is typically made by observing the wart. If in doubt, the physician may send a simple scraping to a pathologist for examination.

This website is for personal research and knowledge only.  It should not be used for self diagnosis or treatment.

We recommend you see a foot & ankle specialist for an evaluation and the proper treatment plan for your foot & ankle care.


Among several treatments for treating plantar warts such as salicylic acid, cryotherapy, etc. duct tape is the most simple and effective way to get rid of plantar warts. In this method, the warts are covered with the duct tape for a period of time. A study conducted in 2002 showed that duct tape was more effective in getting rid of plantar warts than cryotherapy. This method of using duct tape is also known as duct tape occlusion therapy.

How Does Duct Tape Remove Plantar Warts?

Researchers opine that the duct tape works by irritating the skin surrouding the warts. This stimulates the immune system to attack the warts and destroy them.  The rubber adhesive present in the duct tape may play a role in stimulating the immune system to attack and remove the warts

Duct Tape to Get Rid Of Plantar Warts:

Here are the following steps to use duct tape to get rid of plantar warts:

  1. Cut a piece of duct tape and apply this directly to the plantar wart
  2. Keep the duct tape for a period of 6 days. If the duct tape falls within this period, replace it with a new tape
  3. After 6  days, remove the wart and soak the warts in warm water. Now gently scrub the warts using a pumice stone or an emery board. This will remove the dead skin
  4. Repeat this every 6 days for a period  2 months or until the wart is eliminated

Duct tape for plantar warts is popular and nowadays salicylic acid is also added to the tape. Duct tape therapy is simple and effective. However, if the warts persist do consult your doctor for other treatments such as cryotherapy and salicylic acid treatment

Tips for using plantar warts duct tape

Here are some tips to use plantar warts duct tape:

  1. Select a multi purpose duct tape. Try to buy the gray color tape
  2. Apply the duct tape for six days. Dip the area in water and gently rub with pumice stone
  3. Apply more adhesive in the sides of the plantar warts duct tape. This will prevent it from moving from the area
  4. A white colored crust might be visible after 2 to 3 weeks when it is getting better. in this way the progress of the treatment might be obtained