Preparing for your appointment

You'll likely start by seeing your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to a specialist in disorders of the skin (dermatologist) or feet (podiatrist). The following tips can help you prepare for your appointment.

What you can do

Bring a list of all medications you take regularly — including over-the-counter (nonprescription) medications and dietary supplements — and the daily dosage of each.

You may also want to list questions for your doctor, such as:

  • If I have a plantar wart, can I start with at-home care?
  • If I proceed with home treatment, under what conditions should I call you?
  • If the first treatment doesn't work, what will we try next?
  • If the lesion isn't a plantar wart, what tests do you need to do?
  • How long will it take to get results?
  • How can I prevent warts?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask you questions such as:

  • When did the lesion first appear?
  • Has it changed in size or appearance?
  • Is your condition painful?
  • Have you had warts before?
  • Do you have diabetes or poor sensation in your feet?
  • Do you have any condition or take any medication that has weakened your ability to fight disease (immune response)?
  • Have you tried any home remedies? If so, how long have you used them and have they helped?
  • Do you use a swimming pool or locker room — places that can harbor wart-causing viruses?

What you can do in the meantime

If you're sure you have a plantar wart, you may try over-the-counter remedies or alternative medicine approaches. But talk with your doctor before trying self-care treatments if you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Poor sensation in your feet
  • Weakened immunity

If pressure on the wart causes pain, try wearing well-cushioned shoes, such as athletic shoes that evenly support the sole and relieve some of the pressure. Avoid wearing uncomfortable shoes.

May 18, 2017
References
  1. Goldstein BG, et al. Cutaneous warts. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 2, 2017.
  2. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 14, 2017.
  3. Some wart removers are flammable. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm381429.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery. Accessed March 2, 2017.
  4. Landis MN, et al. Recalcitrant plantar warts treated with recombinant quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2012;67:e73.
  5. Habif TP. Plantar warts. In: Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 6th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 2, 2017.
  6. Kwok CS, et al. Topical treatments for cutaneous warts. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001781.pub3/abstract. Accessed March 2, 2017.
  7. Warts. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/u---w/warts. Accessed March 2, 2017.