MD Podiatrist Discusses How to Tell a Wart from an IPK

According to Daniel Michaels, DPM, “plantar warts are caused by a virus. However, there are other types of growths that can affect the bottoms of our feet as well. One of those is called a porokeratoma (plural: porokeratosis), which is a type of hard callus that is easy to mistake for a wart. It is sometimes known as a “seed corn” because of its appearance. A podiatrist is able to determine the difference between the two conditions.”
“The way to identify a plantar wart is for a podiatrist to remove the top layers of dead skin exposing many small drops of blood in the center of the lesion. This is referred to as capillary pinpoint bleeding and is characteristic of a wart. Pain with lateral compression, or squeezing the area from side to side, is another sign of a plantar wart. A porokeratoma will usually feel hard and smooth, without the roughness of a wart. Most of the time, it is quite small, no larger than a sesame seed. Warts are often larger. The pain can be unpleasant, feeling as though you have a splinter caught in your foot, or that you stepped on a piece of glass,” says Dr. Michaels.