Don’t Be Such a Worry “Wart”

Have you ever wondered if witches have warts on their feet? Its a valid question because warts are caused by a virus, namely HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), and it only makes sense that a wart could present in other locations besides the nose. Dorothy had plenty of time to check the feet of the wicked witch as her feet were sticking out from under her house. Toto could have pulled off the shoes and socks and we could have seen if any warts were present. Prior to all the witch burnings in Salem, their feet could have been inspected.

All joking aside, warts are one of the most common skin lesions on the body, not just the foot. As mentioned earlier, they are caused by the HPV virus. Plantar and Palmar warts, those seen on the bottom of the foot and palm of the hand, are typically caused by HPV types 1 and 2 virus.

The typical lesion is usually 1-2mm in diameter however larger lesions can be seen that may measure up to several centimeters in diameter. How do you tell the difference between a wart and a callus? There are a couple of ways.

  1. Side to Side compression (Squeezing) the lesion will cause pain if its a wart.
  2. Warty lesions have noted red or black spots within the lesion. These spots are tiny little blood vessels call capillaries.

NOTE: you may not see this if the wart has callus tissue covering, but as you trim off the extra tissue the spots appear.


There are numerous home remedies, which I will not discuss because most of them have not been studied as to why they may or may not work.

  • Freezing cryotherapy causes blistering of the tissue/lesion. Removal of the blistered tissue, removes the underlying lesion as well. Multiple treatments are typically required.
  • Chemicals there are many types of acidic chemicals that can be applied which cause a similar response to freezing. Again, multiple treatments are typically required.
  • Laser therapy typically performed in an operating room, the lesion is burned and scooped out Which I have found to be the best treatment.
  • Sharp excision typically done in the operating room where the lesion basically scooped out. I like to refer to this as a Numb and Scoop.

All of these methods have been shown to be effective, but because the lesion is due to a virus, it is difficult to tell you that you will never have another wart and yes you can transfer it to another person. There is always that possibility.

If you have noticed a lesion on your foot that you suspect to be a wart, please contact Dr. Jeff Bowman at 713-467-8886 or contact us online.

Category: Skin Problems

Tags: Skin Problems, Warts