What is a wart?

A wart is caused by a virus, HPV – Human Papilloma Virus of which there are over 130 variants. This infects the skin. HPV 1, 2 and 4 are the most common found on the hands and feet. They often occur when the immune system is weak. This can be due to illness, medical treatment, stress or when pregnant.

A wart on the foot is known as a plantar wart (or verruca pedis) and as this area of the foot is exposed to high levels of pressure, the warts, once infected in the skin tend to grow into the skin rather than on top of it like on areas of the rest of the body.  Plantar warts come in many different shapes and sizes and it is possible to have multiple lesions at the one time.  It is also common for the wart to be covered by callous. 

Plantar warts are often confused with corns as they have a similar appearance, however you will find that most plantar warts have small black dots (blood vessels) and are painful when squeezed from the sides.  The skin lines (striations) are usually altered with a wart. Warts are contagious and can be spread amongst family members or from one foot to the other.

Sometimes plantar warts will resolve by themselves without any treatment.  If the wart becomes painful or is growing in size, then we suggest that you have it treated. Treatment with the involvement of a podiatrist is recommended as most over the counter preparations either are not strong enough or cannot penetrate through to the wart due to the presence of hard skin/callus.

Treatment options

Warts can be stubborn and no one treatment has a 100% success rate. Some warts can take months to resolve even with treatment. That was until Swift became available!

Common treatment options include –

Salicylic Acid

Falknors Needling Technique

Swift® Microwave Therapy – now available in clinic

Liquid Nitrogen (Cryotherapy)

No Treatment/the treatment of time

Our preferred method of treatment is Swift® Microwave Therapy.

Click on the above methods for more detailed information on the treatment

Important information about Nutrition and the Immune System

Anyone who is immunocompromised will find any treatment less likely to work. We often advise assessing your lifestyle also, including nutrition, reducing stress levels and taking supplements such as Zinc and Vitamin C to boost your immune system and increase your chosen treatments success rate.