What is it?

A wart is a thickened callous like growth that typically affects the plantar skin on the foot. It is caused by the human papilloma virus and it infects the superficial layer of the skin. They can be quite painful. Plantar warts can be seen in all age groups but commonly affect children and adolescents.

Risk Factors?

  • Use of public showers/ pools
  • Skin trauma
  • Weakened immune system

Signs and Symptoms?

  • Firm, warty lesion and may have pin point dark spots
  • Foot pain localised to a hard, thickened area of skin
  • Usually flat but may be cauliflower shaped


Plantar warts may disappear on their own without treatment. However if they are painful or bothersome they may require treatment. There are a variety of treatment options available. These include:

  • Debriding the lesion and using a topical acid treatment to destroy the wart
  • Burning the wart off with liquid nitrogen
  • Multiple puncture technique surgery – this where we anaesthetise (numb) the area and puncture the wart multiple times. This introduces the virus in to the blood stream where the immune system can be activated to fight the virus
  • Curettage – is the surgical removal of the wart