Photos of Plantar Warts Show What They Look Like on Your Feet

Is it a Wart or Not?

1
How Plantar Warts Appear on Your Foot

Photo © Terence Vanderheiden, D.P.M.

What do plantar warts look like? When you have a painful spot on the bottom of your foot, you might wonder whether it is this common foot wart, also called plantar verruca. Use these photos and explanation to help you figure this out.

What Plantar Warts Look Like

Warts can have a large variety of appearances. But plantar warts on your feet have a more typical appearance than those you might get on your hands. They are usually round and you can mistake them for a corn or callus.

Plantar warts most often are flat because they are covered by the top layer of the tough skin of the sole of your foot. But they might have a rough, grainy texture. The little black dots near the center of the wart are the blood supply to the wart.

They can occur singly or you may have them in clusters. The warts can stay small or you can get a giant plantar wart. Often, they appear on the heel or ball of your foot, where you place your weight when standing or walking.

2
How Warts Appear Different From Calluses

Photo © Terence Vanderheiden, D.P.M.

Warts on your feet can often look like calluses, which are thickened areas of skin. But there are a few distinguishing features warts have that calluses do not.

  • Skin Lines Interrupted by Warts: Warts will interrupt the skin lines on the bottom of the foot, whereas calluses will have skin lines go through the hard, dead skin.
  • Black Dots: Warts usually have small black dots, which are the blood supply to the warts. Calluses do not have black dots (unless your feet are dirty). Often these are called the seed of the wart, but they are not an actual seed, just the capillaries that fed the wart.
  • Pain When Squeezed: Warts are more painful when they are squeezed side to side and calluses are more painful when pushed on directly.

If your wart is well-defined, interrupts the natural skin lines, and you can see a black dot, that will help you determine it isn't just a callus.

3
Multiple Warts (Plantar Verruca) on the Foot

. Photo © Terence Vanderheiden, D.P.M.

Warts are caused by a the human papillomavirus (HPV). It which infects the epidermis, the upper layer of skin. Multiple warts can develop on the sole of your foot once it is infected.

Multiple warts can appear as distinct warts, or they they can be grouped together in a cluster and are called a mosaic wart. A large cluster of warts can be very painful and make it uncomfortable to walk or run. It's also more difficult to treat a larger cluster to eliminate them.

4
When to See the Doctor for Plantar Warts

Photo © Terence Vanderheiden, D.P.M.

Plantar warts can go away on their own without treatment, or you might use an over-the-counter treatments for plantar warts. Most people don't see the doctor for treatment until after these self-care tactics have failed.

You should see your doctor if the wart changes appearance or color, if it is bleeding, or if you have multiple wart. If you have diabetes, poor sensation in your feet, or a weakened immune system, you should have the wart seen by a doctor.

A Word From Verywell

If you aren't sure whether the lesion on your foot or your child's foot is a plantar wart, it is wise to see your doctor. This common problem can be treated so you'll be on the road to less pain when walking or standing.

Sources:

Plantar Wart (Verruca Plantaris). American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/plantar-wart-(verruca-plantaris).

Plantar warts. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-warts/home/ovc-20319385.

Continue Reading