Podiatry - Penrith

From painful lesions to treatment and removal, our expert podiatrists have the knowledge and tools to tackle plantar warts and get your feet back to comfortable health.

What Are Plantar Warts?

If you notice a rough, thick callus-like growth on the bottom of your foot, it could be a plantar wart. These benign yet bothersome lumps are caused by a viral infection of the skin on the soles of the feet. Plantar warts often appear as singular or clustered growths that may look like a small white cauliflower with black dots in the middle. They can develop deep roots inside the skin, causing pain and discomfort. If you’re worried about a suspicious bump or lesion on your foot, see a podiatrist promptly for evaluation and treatment. Don’t try to self-treat or ignore plantar warts.

Causes & Risk Factors of Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are caused by direct infection of the human papillomavirus (HPV) into the skin cells on the bottom of the feet. The virus is highly contagious and spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact. Cracks or cuts on the feet allow easy entry for the virus. 

Plantar warts are more likely to develop if you:

  • Walk barefoot in public places like locker rooms or swimming pools
  • Have repeated minor trauma or pressure on the feet, like long periods of standing
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Are younger, with Australian children and teens being most at risk 
  • Don’t practise proper foot hygiene
  • Have had previous plantar warts

Avoiding direct skin contact with infected surfaces can reduce your risk. See a podiatrist promptly if you notice suspicious foot growths to prevent spreading.

Signs & Symptoms of Plantar Warts

Plantar warts may appear as single or multiple growths on the bottom of the foot. They typically have a rough, grainy surface and well-defined boundaries. The main signs and symptoms of plantar warts include:

  • Thick, callus-like lesion on the sole, toe, or ball of the foot
  • Grey, brown, yellow or white cauliflower-like appearance
  • Small black pinpoints, which are clotted blood vessels
  • Lesions with a central depression, dots, or tiny spines
  • Hard, flat bump that may grow deeply into the foot
  • Occasional itching, burning pain, or tenderness
  • Discomfort when standing or walking
  • Lesions that regrow after paring the thick skin

Plantar warts sometimes resolve untreated over time. However, they often require removal by a podiatrist to prevent spreading and relieve discomfort. Seek treatment if you notice any unusual growths or symptoms on your feet.

Complications If Left Untreated

While plantar warts may occasionally go away on their own, it’s best not to ignore them. Without treatment, plantar warts can:

  • Grow larger and deeper into the foot
  • Spread to other areas on the same foot or to the other foot
  • Multiply if the virus spreads, creating a cluster of warts
  • Create discomfort or pain when walking
  • Develop into extremely thick and hard lesions that are difficult to treat
  • Create openings in the skin that allow bacteria to enter and cause infection
  • Interfere with daily activities due to discomfort
  • Potentially increases the risk of spreading the virus to others

Seeking prompt treatment for plantar warts prevents complications and the spread of the virus. Our podiatrists can provide fast, effective wart removal for optimal foot health and function. 

When To See A Podiatrist

Don’t try to self-treat any suspicious growths on your feet. It’s important to have a podiatrist evaluate any lesions to determine if they are plantar warts and recommend appropriate treatment. Seek an appointment with a podiatrist promptly if you notice:

  • Fleshy, rough bumps on the soles of your feet
  • Lesions with small black dots or spines
  • Flat, hardened areas of thick skin on the bottoms of your feet
  • Patches of skin that frequently bleed when pared down
  • Clusters of growths or abnormal skin changes on the feet
  • Discomfort, pain, or sensitivity from growths on your feet
  • Warts that persist despite over-the-counter treatments

Podiatrists can safely and effectively treat plantar warts, as well as rule out other potential foot conditions. 

Plantar Wart Removal & Treatment Options

If plantar warts are diagnosed, our expert podiatrists offer a variety of methods for safe, effective removal and treatment. The best options for each patient depend on factors like wart size, location, number, and more.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a common over-the-counter medication used to remove warts. Our podiatrists may prescribe higher concentrations of salicylic acid to be applied directly to plantar warts daily. This gradually softens and destroys the infected skin cells over time.


Podophyllin is another chemical that is commonly used for wart removal but is not available over the counter. It may be prescribed for the more stubborn or larger warts and is to be applied directly onto the wart and covered with tape every 2 days. This gradually creates a blister under the wart and pushes the wart out over time. 


Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy is used to freeze and destroy plantar warts. Our podiatrist applies liquid nitrogen directly on the wart using a cotton swab or spray technique. The extreme cold damages the infected skin cells, which eventually blister and peel away. Several sessions are usually needed.

Surgical Removal

Surgically cutting away plantar warts is an option for large or stubborn lesions. This in-office procedure is done under sterile conditions using a scalpel to precisely shave off and remove the infected tissue. Local anesthesia is administered for comfort.

Laser Therapy

Laser treatment destroys plantar warts by targeting the affected skin with an intense beam of light. Our podiatrist may use advanced laser therapy to successfully eliminate stubborn or recurring warts.

Get Relief from Painful Plantar Warts

If you’re suffering from bothersome plantar warts, contact our clinics today. Our skilled podiatrists are ready to help you find relief through customised treatment plans tailored to your needs. We utilise proven methods like cryotherapy, laser removal, salicylic acid, and surgery to get rid of even the most stubborn warts. Our integrated care means you get complete foot health under one roof.

Don’t wait and risk complications or spreading the virus. Take control of your foot health and well-being. Contact us now to schedule an evaluation. Receive the personal care and effective solutions you deserve from OnePointHealth’s podiatry experts. The first step toward clear, comfortable feet is yours.

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