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:
- 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
- Goldstein BG, et al. Cutaneous warts. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 2, 2017.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 14, 2017.
- 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.
- Landis MN, et al. Recalcitrant plantar warts treated with recombinant quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2012;67:e73.
- 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.
- 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.
- Warts. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/u---w/warts. Accessed March 2, 2017.