Think it's a callus? Maybe it's a wart!

Plantar warts are skin lesions that develop on the bottom part of the foot. They are usually painful when they are squeezed or pinched from side to side. A podiatrist  can usually diagnose you with a wart based on the characteristics of the appearance alone. It may appear as a callus on the surface but once the doctor trims the hard callus tissue from the surface, it is easy to tell that it is a wart. After trimming there will be a visible pattern of small black dots that are actually small blood vessels that feed the wart. If there is pain when the doctor squeezes or pinches it, then there isn’t further testing needed, it’s a wart! 

What Causes Warts

Warts are caused by the infection of skin cells with the HPV virus, Human papillomavirus. HPV usually causes a buildup of protein keratin on the skin, this is what leads to having warts on your feet. This is very common in children and young adults. HPV can live for months on surfaces.The wart virus tends to thrive in warm and moist environments. So places like shower floors, locker rooms and public swimming areas are ideal places for transmission. The virus will enter the skin through small cuts on the bottom of your feet, infecting the skin cells and then resulting in plantar warts a few weeks later. They often  appear to be calluses  with small dots under the skin that are very painful when squeezed.

What Does A Wart Look Like?

Plantar warts often look like circular spots of thick, callused skin. These spots will typically have tiny black dots on the surface, which are actually bits of dried blood. Plantar warts are usually flat and grow inwards as pressure from walking is applied to them. This often leads to pain. 

picture of plantar warts

How To Reduce Risk Of Plantar Warts

You can reduce your risk of plantar warts by simply following a few suggestions:

  • Wear sandals in/around swimming pools,

  • Do not share towels, shoes, socks, equipment, or other personal items

  • Avoid trauma and maceration of the skin

  • Do not share nail files and pumice stones with others

  • Avoid walking barefoot

Treat Your Warts Without Pain By Our Hillsborough Podiatrist


If you have any type of lesion on your foot, call me! I love treating warts and can do so quickly and without pain

Robert Kosofsky, D.P.M.
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Dr. Robert Kosofsky has over 25 years of experience treating patients in our Hillsborough & Piscataway offices
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