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Plantar Wart


What Is A Plantar Wart?

A plantar wart is a common viral skin infection that appears as a small, rough growth resembling a cauliflower or solid blister on the sole of the foot. When these lesions are located on a weight bearing surface, they tend to grow inward and will build up hard tissue overtop of it, resembling a callus or corn. Plantar warts affect both children and adults.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Plantar Wart?

The most common symptoms of a plantar wart include:
  • Small, rough skin-coloured growth on the bottom of your foot or toe
  • Black dots (“wart seeds”) on the surface of your sole of your foot
  • Tenderness when walking or standing
Note: Warts can look similar to calluses and corns.

How Do I Treat A Plantar Wart?

While some warts may resolve on their own over time, there are some that require a visit to see a foot specialist.

There is not one treatment that will cure all warts on all people. People respond differently to different treatments, so it is important to find what treatment works best for you. In general, the more aggressive or invasive the treatment, the higher the success rate. Less invasive procedures will require multiple visits.

The following are some treatment options your chiropodist may discuss with you:

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a topical medication found in many over the counter products designed to help treat warts. It softens the skin and increases the speed at which the skin sheds its outer layer. Your chiropodist will prescribe a higher dosage of this medication to increase its effectiveness and will schedule regular visits to reduce build-up of skin and eventually peel off the wart. This treatment is relatively painless.

Canthacur/Canthacur PS

Canthacur is a potent topical solution when applied to the skin, will result in a burn and consequent blister, lifting the warty tissue from the top layer of the skin. Although in some cases there will be no distinct pain yet, the topical foot solution is still applied. Pain, discomfort, burning sensations may develop over the subsequent days that follow. On average, it takes roughly three applications to eradicate a wart with this method of treatment.


Cryotherapy involves multiple rounds of freezing and thawing warty tissue. This process theoretically kills living cells, including the virus and may even stimulate an immune response.


Needling is an invasive procedure which requires local anesthetic injections to numb the area. It then involves puncturing the warty lesion with a sterile needle approximately 100 times to introduce the virus to the immune system and stimulate an immune response. Needling is usually indicated for recalcitrant warts and individuals who have multiple warts on their foot. Treating one wart this way can lead to eradication of all other warts on the foot.


Excision is a technique used to treat resistant plantar warts and is known to have a high success rate. The foot is first numbed using local anesthetics and the wart is then cut out using a scalpel blade and removed from the top layer of the skin. The base is also cauterized to ensure no living viral tissue is left behind.

To schedule best foot care treatment with our licensed chiropodists (foot specialists), use the booking form below or call 416-769-FEET(3338).

Our Toronto foot clinic is open Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturdays 10am-4pm. You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic.


What Causes A Plantar Wart?

Plantar warts are caused by a strain of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that infects the outermost layer of the skin on the soles of your feet. This virus may enter the skin when the skin is left vulnerable either by trauma, injury, or excessive moisture.
Risk Factors

What Causes Plantar Warts?

Certain risk factors may increase your chances of getting a plantar wart:

  • Weakened or compromised immune system
  • Walking barefoot in public swimming pools, showers, gyms, locker rooms
  • Injury to the skin on the foot such as a cut or scrape

How Do I Prevent Plantar Warts?

Here are various foot care solutions preventing plantar warts:
Plantar warts aren’t nearly as contagious as fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but you can minimize your risk of being exposed to the virus by:
  • Wearing protective footwear in locker rooms, change rooms, communal showers and fitness studios
  • Changing your shoes and socks daily
  • Avoiding sharing socks and shoes
Articles about Plantar Wart by Feet First Clinic

Book an appointment for plantar wart

You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic. Schedule an appointment by using the Appointment Request form below or contact the clinic at 416-769-FEET(3338).