Overview of Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are benign (noncancerous) growths that occur on the sole (plantar surface), heel, or ball of the foot. Pressure from standing and walking often causes them to grow into deep layers of the skin.

The human papilloma virus (HPV) causes several different types of warts, which are the most common type of skin infection. In some cases, the HPV virus dies within 1 or 2 years, and warts simply disappear. Podiatrists may recommend having plantar warts removed because they often are irritating and painful.

Plantar Warts Incidence and Prevalence

Anyone can contract the virus that causes plantar warts. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), plantar warts occur most often in children and young adults between the ages of 12 and 16. Incidence is higher in people who share common bathing areas (e.g., dormitory students, gym members).

Publication Review By: J. Michael Lunsford, D.P.M.

Published: 30 Dec 1999

Last Modified: 01 Oct 2015