Plantar Warts (or massa): Causes and Treatment


Constant movement and body weight leads to putting a lot of pressure on the feet. Apart from getting tired, you could also be inviting issues such as infections and warts. Warts can appear on the palms and feet and are also known as ‘Massa’ in Hindi. In this blog, we’ll be discussing plantar warts, its causes and treatment options. 

What are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are small-sized growths on areas of the feet where we put excess pressure. Weight-bearing zones like our heels are especially vulnerable to this. They are non-cancerous and commonly happen to children and teenagers. Though, anyone can get it. 

Sometimes plantar warts are responsible for the thick calluses that appear under our feet. It happens when it grows inwards instead of outwards. It can be more painful to bear than an outward-growing plantar wart.

What Causes Plantar Warts?

  • The most common cause of plantar warts is a virus known as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Though there are many strains of this virus, the specific types responsible for plantar warts are 1, 2, 4, 60 and 63. 
  • They may spread from one person to the other through indirect contact. However, the chances of warts spreading in this manner are less. 
  • They can get into your body through physical intrusions like cuts or simple weak spots on the soles. Although, they are usually benign and even heal at times without specific treatment. However, in some cases, they can be painful too. 
  • Having weak immunity, in general, could also be a reason to contract plantar warts. Though, you could get them even with a healthy immune system. 
  • Also, unnecessarily walking barefoot in areas such as locker rooms, swimming pools, or communal shower areas increases the chances of getting it. 

Are Plantar Warts Dangerous?

They aren’t exactly dangerous but can be bothersome. It is only natural for someone with plantar warts on their feet to slightly change their posture to reduce the pain. 

Are Plantar Warts Contagious?

They are known to be contagious. However, they aren’t as contagious as other warts. They may cause localised pain in the thicker areas on the sole. Other than this, they may even cause lesions, as well as dark spots within the area of the wart. Although, one thing to watch out for is that even though they may heal independently, they are sometimes known to form “mosaics” of warts due to fusing. 

How Do You Treat Plantar Warts?

There are several treatment options that a dermatologist can suggest after evaluating your condition. You can read about them in the points given below. 

Laser Treatment

Your doctor may use a laser light to burn warts off the skin as they usually appear on the surface of the skin. Though, it won’t be sufficient for inward-grown warts. They are also capable of forming scars. Hence, you should know about these facts before opting for the treatment.


It is a treatment that involves numbing the particular area of the sole with local anaesthesia, only to cut into and extract the entire wart. There are high chances of scarring, and it also involves a procedure known as curetting.


Much like the moles, even plantar warts can be “frozen” off the skin’s surface by applying liquid nitrogen either with a spray or other methods that localise the application. The wart turns black and falls off within a couple of days or more. One advantage of this procedure is that it reduces the chances of scars.  


A mild acid like salicylic acid is applied to the region of concern to burn the wart off the skin. When monitored and carefully executed by dermatologists or skin specialists, this may yield a scar-free result.


Since weak immune systems can be a culprit for contracting plantar warts, such procedures help alter your immune systems to fight the disease or make it better susceptible to the different treatments.

Summing Up

Plantar warts are mostly harmless and may not cause any issue. They generally disappear on their own. Nonetheless, it’s good to keep a tab for anything unusual. Inform your dermatologist if you notice bleeding or changes in shape, size and colour of warts. 


1. Should you try to pull a wart with tweezers?

No, you shouldn’t be even thinking about trying this idea. Never scratch, rub or pull a wart as it can cause injury and lead to further infection. 

2. Can I cut my wart?

Instead of treating it on your own, talk to a dermatologist for proper treatment. 

3. Which is the best plantar wart removal method?

If you wish to remove a plantar wart, consult your doctor to offer detailed information and the best option for treatment which would depend on the size and severity of the wart.

4. Can banana skin help you get rid of plantar warts?

There is no evidence or proof to state that it can be beneficial to treat plantar warts.



Picture of Dr Jisha Gomez

Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.