Paring for plantar warts

A health professional uses paring to help diagnose and treat plantar warts. When paring, your health professional will trim your skin growth with a small knife and examine it. Paring usually causes little or no pain or bleeding because only the dead outer layers of skin are removed. After paring the outer skin layers of a wart or callus, your health professional can look for signs of plantar wart growth:

  • The skin's creases and lines over a plantar wart are distorted.
  • "Seeds" (indicating blood vessels) are present in the core of a plantar wart. If pared deeply, the "seeds" will bleed.
  • If no "seeds" are visible, the growth may be a callus, corn, or other skin condition. Wart treatments may leave an uncomfortable scar if they are used to treat a callus.

Paring can also make some wart treatments work better. Removing thick, dead layers of skin that cover the wart helps medication, cold, or heat to reach deeper into the wart.

Last Updated: September 11, 2008

Author: Caroline Rea, RN, BS, MS

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology

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