Fish eye on the foot: what is it? What are the symptoms and treatments?

Taking care of your feet should be a daily routine, since they are responsible for keeping us standing or walking all day. There are several diseases and conditions that can affect them, with the fish eye on the foot, or plantar warts , being one of them.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of any abnormal signs that may appear on the feet, so that it is possible to find the most appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

In this article, we will explain better about the causes, symptoms and treatments for this problem.

What is?

The fish eye on the foot is a type of rigid and grainy wart that appears on the heel or on the front of the soles of the feet. The health problem is also called by the specialists of plantar warts.

Thus, they can be extremely painful, but they are considered benign lesions, that is, they do not put life at risk. One of the first symptoms that arise is pain at the site. Sensitivity may also appear when putting pressure on the foot while the person is walking.

In addition, as soon as the fisheye is formed, a flat, circular, dark spot appears on the skin, reminiscent of a fisheye. That is precisely why it received this popular name. In addition, several warts may appear scattered on the feet, which worsens discomfort and makes walking difficult.

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What causes fish eye on the foot?

Plantar warts are caused by the HPV virus (acronym for human papillomavirus), more specifically subtypes 1, 4 and 63. The virus enters the body through small cuts, breaks or other points on the soles of the feet.

However, some people are more susceptible to the appearance of standing fish eye. Among them, we can highlight those with low immunity, carriers of autoimmune diseases or who are very stressed, for example.

Since most people develop immunity to the virus with age, plantar warts are more common in children than in adults.

In addition, they are also common in people with HIV and take immunosuppressive drugs, as is the case of those who have had a transplant.

In this way, each person’s immune system responds differently to HPV. Not everyone who comes into contact with it develops a fish eye. Even people in the same family react to the virus in different ways.

Home treatments for fish eye on the foot

Although the fisheye is not dangerous, some people may need to remove it or look for ways to treat it to deal with the discomfort.

However, if fisheye is not treated properly, there is a risk that the lesion will increase and the virus will proliferate. With this, there is a contamination of other areas that can develop new warts. Inappropriate treatment can also cause scarring and infections on the soles of the feet.

Below are some home treatments for fisheye.

Apple vinegar

The anti-infective properties of apple cider vinegar can help to reduce plantar warts. The ideal is to apply with a piece of cotton about twice a day.

Scotch tape

One way to gradually get rid of plantar warts is to use tape. To do this, stick a small piece of tape on the affected area and change at least twice a day. This can help to “peel” the layers of the warts.


Applying iodine can help remove plantar warts. The recommendation is to apply twice a day for a few weeks with a piece of cotton.


It is possible to use freezing sprays to decrease plantar warts. The spray creates a blister-like lesion that sticks to the wart. As soon as the blister heals, the wart will also disappear.


Easily found in pharmacies, aspirin has acetylsalicylic acid in its composition. So it can be useful for treating warts, as it creates a peeling-like effect and removes the most superficial layer of the skin.

Tea tree oil

Also known as tea tree oil , the item has antiviral action and helps fight the HPV virus, responsible for the appearance of the fish eye. The indication is to dilute in some vegetable oil such as coconut and apply directly to the plantar wart at least twice a day.

Medical treatments for fish eye on the foot

Most fish eyes are harmless and disappear without treatment, but this can take one to two years. If the warts hurt or spread, it is important to seek medical help for an evaluation.

At the doctor’s appointment, usually with a dermatologist, who assesses the lesion to confirm the diagnosis.

The specialist will be able to remove the lesion with a scalpel and check for signs of dark spots at the site, that is, small clotted blood vessels. Then, the tissue can be sent for analysis (biopsy). If the diagnosis of fisheye is confirmed, some treatments are indicated. See details.

Peeling with salicylic acid

Salicylic acid removes the layers of the plantar wart and stimulates the immune system’s ability to fight warts. It can be applied at home with the guidance of the doctor.


The technique, which is performed in a doctor’s office, involves applying liquid nitrogen to the wart with a spray or a cotton swab. It can be painful, so it is common for a person to need local anesthesia.

The substance used causes a bubble to form around the wart and the dead tissue comes off. Cryotherapy can also stimulate the immune system to fight viral warts. This treatment can last for a few weeks until the fish eye on the foot disappears.


The doctor scrapes the surface of the wart and applies trichloroacetic acid to the skin. Side effects include burning and stinging.

Immune therapy

This technique uses drugs or solutions to stimulate the immune system to fight the fish eye. The specialist applies a specific substance or cream to the plantar wart.


Although less common, in some cases less complex surgeries are indicated to eliminate the fisheye. In such cases, anesthesia is required and may leave scars.

Laser treatment

Laser treatment cauterizes the blood vessels and the infected tissue dies and the wart falls off. This technique needs to be repeated every three to four weeks. It can also cause pain and scarring.

It is worth mentioning that, as tempting as it may seem, one should not remove the fish eye at home alone. Removing the wart with your own hands or with pliers and needles can cause bleeding, pain and local trauma, causing infections that aggravate the problem.

Plantar warts can be difficult to remove and have a tendency to come back. Therefore, it is important to follow the appropriate treatment.

Is it contagious?

Yes. There is a possibility of direct contamination from one person to another, but it is not so common. The main form of transmission of the plantar warts virus is to walk barefoot in hot and humid environments, such as swimming pools, bathrooms and changing rooms.

To prevent fish eye on the foot, some attitudes can be effective. Are they:

  • Always protect your feet in shared community spaces, such as swimming pools, showers, changing rooms or dormitories;
  • Get the HPV vaccine;
  • If you have a fish eye, change your shoes and socks every day;
  • Avoid touching warts and also not poking the fish eye with your fingers;
  • Wash your feet thoroughly with soap after being in an area where the virus can spread;
  • Keep feet clean and dry;
  • Keep the plantar wart always covered and wash your hands frequently to avoid transmitting it to others.