Plantar warts are usually found on the bottom of the foot, although they are rarely found on the top of the feet. Plantar warts, also known as Verruca plantaris, are warts caused by the HPV, or human papillomavirus.
The human papillomavirus is a common virus that can cause warts in any part of your body. There are over 100 different kinds of HPV. A majority of them are harmless, yet around 30 types can increase your risk of getting cancer. These kinds affect the genitals and you acquire them through sexual intercourse with an infected partner. The human papillomaviruses are classified as either low risk or high risk. Low risk HPV causes warts in the genitals. High tisk HPV can result in cancers of the vagina, anus and cervix in women. HPV in men can result in cancers of the penis and anus. Most people infected with HPV never exhibit any symptoms. However, the outward signs of the virus are easily identifiable if they do manifest.
Look for flat warts. These warts are slightly elevated, flat-topped, non-cancerous lesions darker than your natural skin color. They commonly show up on your neck, hands, knees, elbows and face. Flat warts that are caused by HPV infections normally affect children and adolescents.
Look for plantar warts. These types of warts are grainy, hard and non-cancerous growths that commonly appear on areas that feel the most pressure, such as the heels of your feet. Plantar warts can cause pain or discomfort.
Look for upper respiratory and oral lesions. Certain HPV infections can cause lesions and warts to form on your tonsils, tongue, soft palate, larynx and inside your nose. These lesions can be the result of low risk HPV types (non-cancerous) or high risk types (cancerous).
Consult your physician if you discover any warts or lesions on your body. With men, it is difficult to diagnose HPV--genital warts are the only way a physician can recognize HPV. With women, a pap smear is ordered and sent to the lab for proper identification. A physician can properly identify the signs of human papillomavirus from a pap smear.