Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Warts

Plantar warts usually are rough and spongy, and most are gray, brown, or yellow with dark pinpoints (tiny capillaries that supply blood to the wart). Scraping a wart may cause it to bleed.

A plantar wart is similar in structure to an iceberg-the part on the surface of the skin is a small part of the entire anomaly. Often, the portion of the wart under the skin is at least twice as big as the part you can see.

Plantar warts may cause pain on the bottom of the foot. Patients often feel a "lump" on the bottom of the foot when standing, similar to having a stone in the shoe. In many cases, pressure from standing and walking prevents plantar warts from rising above the skin surface.

If left untreated, plantar warts can grow up to 1 inch in circumference and may spread into clusters (called mosaic warts). In severe cases, they cause a change in gait or posture that results in leg or back pain.

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

Published: 01 Jan 2000

Last Modified: 05 Dec 2011