Seattle:  206-528-0100
Edmonds:  425-775-1505
Seattle / Edmonds Foot Doctor, Podiatrist, Prescription Orthotics
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Active Foot & Ankle Treats Plantar Warts in Seattle & Edmonds

Plantar WartPlantar Warts

Specialized Clinic for Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are contagious. They are caused by a virus and may multiply and spread to adjacent areas of skin. Plantar warts can occur anywhere on the bottom of the foot. They start as solitary warts and then spread over a larger area. The virus is found most commonly on the moist floors of public facilities like gyms, locker rooms and public pools. They can be spread from person to person within a household, across shower bottoms and bathroom floors.

Ages affected by warts

Plantar warts can occur at any age but are most commonly found on the hands and feet of children between the ages of 12 and 19. The immune system gets better at recognizing and defending against the wart virus as we get older.


If you look closely at a wart you will notice that the skin lines either go around it or stop at its edges. There may be small black dots within it. A wart will hurt more if it is pinched from side to side than if direct pressure is applied to it.

Treatment for foot warts can start with salicylic acid

Salicylic acid applied to the surface of the wart can work quite well. This treatment's advantages are that there is almost no risk of forming a painful scar on the bottom of the foot and it requires no healing time. The disadvantage is that it takes several weeks. In our office, we generally use salicylic acid patches at a concentration of 40 percent. The peel-and-stick patches are cut to fit and left in place continuously. Showers may be taken with the patches in place. The dead portion of each wart is painlessly shaved off once a week in the office.

Surgical wart removal

Surgical removal can be done by numbing the area of the wart and using either a sharp instrument or a curette or both. Sometimes this is followed by the application of a chemical to lower the rate of recurrence which is about 15 percent per wart. This means that a second procedure is usually necessary if there are seven or more warts.

Wart freezing treatments

Freezing treatments for plantar warts can cause them to spread because the skin is too thick to freeze completely. The incomplete freezing causes inflammation which probably causes the spread.
Plantar warts treated with Bleomycin
Bleomycin, an anticancer drug, is used for very resistant warts. The two most resistant spots are on the toes and the back of the heel. A couple of days following injection, the warts turn red and blisters form. A week later they are shaved off in the office.


The virus is killed by Lysol or bleach applied on the surfaces of the shower floor or tub and across the surface of the bathroom floor. Once warts appear, the best prevention is early treatment before they spread. Because the cause is viral, new warts can appear up to several months following treatment.

Posted by Mark A. Kuzel, DPM, FACFAS on September 8, 2010

We achieve excellence

At Active Foot & Ankle Center, we are committed to providing you the highest quality foot & ankle care. Our board certified doctors have over 15+ years of experience in Seattle, Edmonds, and throughout Western Washington. We are ready to serve all of your foot and ankle needs. Find out more by browsing our website, then contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation today.

Doctors for ankle or foot pain

Meet the doctor

Mark Kuzel

Mark Kuzel


Dr. Kuzel has been in practice since 1992 and has been board certified since 1998.

Questions? Call us at 206-528-0100 at our Seattle office or 425-775-1505 in Edmonds.

Seattle / Edmonds Foot Doctor, Podiatrist, Prescription Orthotics
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Active Foot and Ankle Center
Your Seattle Foot Pain Specialist


1545 N.E. 65th Street
Seattle, WA, 98115

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