Treatment for Plantar Warts
We put our feet through a lot on a daily basis—and sometimes, that includes exposure to microorganisms that seek to infect us. While skin and immune systems are typically up to the task, sometimes small breaks in the skin are all that’s needed for a virus to establish a foothold. That’s how plantar warts develop.
Previously, most common wart removal treatments were moderately unpleasant, or at least inconvenient. Fortunately, that’s changed thanks to Swift Microwave Therapy, a new and exciting option that offers higher success rates with no lasting pain, side effects, or required aftercare.
We’ll have more on that later, but first let’s talk about plantar warts themselves.
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
Some people choose to ignore their warts, or try “home remedies” or over-the-counter wart removal kits. We generally don’t recommend these options:
- Warts may go away on their own in time, but this could take months or years—and in the meantime, the warts could easily get worse or spread.
- Home treatments don’t have much evidence to suggest that they work. If one of these treatments “worked” for you in the past, it was probably just coincidence—in other words, the wart would have gone away on its own anyway.
As mentioned above, the best way to treat warts is through Swift Microwave Therapy. During a quick appointment at our office, we’ll expose your wart to a light dose of targeted microwaves for about 2-3 seconds. That’s all that’s needed to treat the infected tissue and “alert” the immune system, which sets about the task of defeating the wart-causing virus from the inside out. (The bonus is that, because you’re treating the cause and not just the symptom, warts are less likely to reappear after Swift treatment than with more conventional remedies.)
Click here for more in-depth info about how Swift works, and what you can expect from treatment.
More “conventional” treatment options for warts have largely been made obsolete by Swift, but 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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Medford, NJ 08055
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