Treatment for Plantar Warts

We put our feet through a lot of rough situations, and some of them even include exposure to invading organisms. That’s how plantar warts develop.

While our skin and immune systems are often superb at providing the security necessary to keep unwanted things out, they sometimes get bested. Plantar warts can remain for quite a long time once they manage to get in, but we have ways of clearing them out ahead of schedule.

What are Plantar Warts Made Of?

Plantar warts are the result of a virus—namely, strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). It tends to infiltrate through cuts or other weak spots in the skin.

Once in, and if the immune system can’t fight it off, the virus creates small, rough growths on the feet. The most common spots are along the bottom and at the base of the toes. Sometimes, a callus will grow over the wart if it’s in a certain spot or begins to grow inward.

Plantar warts do not always hurt, but some can end up in locations that cause discomfort when you walk or stand on them.

Treating Plantar Warts

There are many opinions on the best treatments for plantar warts, and this is largely due to two things:

  • Plantar warts are often painless and harmless, so people might choose not to get professional help for them immediately.
  • Plantar warts tend to eventually go away on their own, although it takes a long time for this to happen (up to 2 years or longer, in many cases!).

Many people will try home remedies for their warts, and some of them might even be effective. Most, however, are not proven by science to work. But if someone is on their fifth home remedy and their warts vanish on their own, they might believe that the remedy did the trick when the warts just ran their natural course.

(Then they go to Facebook about it.)

If you want to try home remedies, there is no reason you couldn’t—just as long as the remedy doesn’t involve you cutting into yourself or using something that hurts your skin! But if you want to get rid of your warts by a certain time, or they are causing you discomfort that’s affecting your daily life, it is much preferable to go with treatments you know will work.

There are several methods that might be employed for wart removal. They may include:

  • Salicylic acid medications – A prescription strength medication can remove a wart gradually, a layer at a time. We might apply the medication in-office or recommend you apply it regularly at home.
  • Cryotherapy – This in-office procedure involves applying liquid nitrogen or another freezing agent to the wart. We may administer a local anesthetic to the foot before this procedure, as it can be uncomfortable. Repeat treatments will be necessary in most cases.
  • Minor surgical removal – This is basically just cutting the wart away. Again, the area will be numbed before the procedure.

How to Prevent Plantar Warts (or Not make Them Worse)

A little common sense can go a long way to helping you manage your warts or prevent them from happening in the first place:

  • Protect your feet with shower shoes when walking through damp, warm, public areas, such as around pools and in locker rooms. These are the types of conditions where the virus can thrive and be more easily transmitted.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry daily. If your socks get soaked with sweat halfway through the day, bring a clean pair you can change into later on.
  • Don’t pick at warts if you have them. Not only can this cause you more pain than you need, but it can help the virus transmit from your feet to other parts of your body. Whenever you do have to touch your warts for one reason or another, wash your hands as soon as you can afterward.

If you would like help with warts—either on your feet or a loved one’s—Burlington County Foot & Ankle Associates is here “to Keep You Walking”. Give us a call at (609) 714-0052 or fill out our online contact form.

 

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