Plantar Warts: How to Prevent Them and Get Rid of Them for Good!

How to get rid of a plantar wart, Dr. gary briskin, foot and ankle specialist, Los Angeles

Warts are small growths on the skin and can shop up anywhere on your body. When they appear on your foot (usually on the bottom), they’re plantar warts.

Plantar warts are often a minor and temporary annoyance. However, they’re equally likely to become a severely painful condition, serious enough to require a doctor’s attention.

What causes plantar warts?

Plantar warts are one of the more than one hundred strains of human papilloma virus (HPV). The type primarily associated with plantar warts is HPV-1. Less common culprits include HPV types 2, 4, 60, and 63.

Plantar warts begin when the virus enters the body through tiny cuts, abrasions, or other openings on your feet. Sometimes plantar warts appear in a cluster, called a wart mosaic.

Each person’s immune system responds differently to HPV, even among members of the same family.

What are the signs and symptoms of plantar warts?

  • A small, rough, fleshy protrusion on the bottom of your foot. They usually grow on the weight-bearing areas of the foot such as the base of the toes, ball of the foot or heel.
  • An area of thick, rough skin, which can mask a wart that has grown inward.
  • Pain, which can range from mild to severe enough to prevent walking.
  • Black dots sometimes appear on a wart. These are often called “wart seeds”, but they are actually small coagulated blood vessels.

Are plantar warts contagious? Yes!

Not only are they contagious, they easily spread. Here’s what you can do to prevent plantar warts from spreading?

  • Avoid touching plantar warts. You could inadvertently transmit the virus to another area on your body.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry. Be sure to change your socks daily and wear comfortable, cushioned shoes.
  • Don’t walk barefoot at swimming pools and in locker rooms.
  • Don’t pick, clip, file, or scratch your warts. This can cause your warts to spread and become recurrent.

Are there home remedies for plantar warts?

Yes, there are several non-prescription treatments for plantar warts. The various gels, ointments, and lotions usually contain salicylic acid, which gradually peels the wart away. Some over-the-counter sprays attempt to remove the wart by freezing it.

When should I see a doctor for plantar wart treatment?

All about Plantar WartsMany small plantar warts are harmless. Sometimes they’ll disappear without treatment, although it may take a year or so for them to vanish. If your plantar warts are not painful and they’re not spreading, you may not need any treatment.

But if a plantar wart is causing you pain, it often alters the way you walk. This can create additional foot problems, and even damage the joints of your feet.

You should see a foot specialist for plantar wart treatment when:

  • Your plantar wart is bleeding, painful, or if it changes in appearance or color.
  • Your plantar wart persists, multiplies, or reappears despite prolonged home treatment.
  • Your plantar wart is causing discomfort significant enough to interfere with your daily activities.
  • You have diabetes or a weakened immune system.

What Plantar Wart treatments do the doctors at UFAI use to get rid of plantar warts?

When home treatments are ineffective, medical intervention becomes necessary. Here are in-clinic procedures available to eliminate plantar warts:

Topical solutions of salicylic acid, stronger than those available over-the-counter

This requires multiple treatments, this prescription strength medication will more effectively peel off the wart.


After applying a local anesthetic to numb the area, we put liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart. This causes a blister to form around the wart. When the blister falls off, it carries the wart with it.

Acid patches

Your doctor will shave a very thin slice off the top of the wart. Then apply a patch with strong acid to the now exposed wart. This course of treatment usually involves multiple applications.


We are one of the few podiatric clinics to offer this innovative and highly effective treatment. Bleomycin is directly injected into the wart, using a needle-less air gun. This lets us to infuse the medicine deeper into the wart with less pain and complications.

Why is University Foot and Ankle Institute the best choice for care in California?

The doctors at UFAI are thoroughly trained and highly skilled in all the effective ways to treat your plantar warts. We will carefully analyze your condition and prescribe one (or a combination) of our many weapons against plantar warts.

If you’re experiencing problems with your feet, we’re here to help. Our nationally recognized foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced podiatric care with the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or visit us at

Dr. Gary B. Briskin, DPM, FACFAS

Dr. Gary B. Briskin, DPM, FACFAS

As co-founder and co-director of University Foot and Ankle Institute, board-certified Dr. Gary Briskin began his medical training by serving a residency at Flint General Hospital in Michigan. Once completed, he established a practice in Century City Hospital, where he soon became chief of podiatric surgery.

Dr. Briskin is a Diplomat of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He also serves as an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Dr. Gary B. Briskin, DPM, FACFAS

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