Posts for tag: Plantar Warts
Oddly enough, there are a lot of Old Wives Tales and folk remedies surrounding warts. Perhaps you’ve even heard of some one them; however, if you end up dealing with one or clusters of these hard, skin-colored bumps you may be wondering how you got them and how to treat them. If you develop warts, particularly on the soles of your feet, this is something that your podiatrist can help you treat.
What are plantar warts?
All warts are the result of a virus that invades the skin through cuts or tiny open wounds. Warts, especially on the feet, can be mistaken for a corn or callus; however, unlike corns or calluses that often go away in a couple of weeks, it can take years for a wart to go away. During this time, warts can also spread to other areas of the body including the hands and face.
How do I know that I have plantar warts?
If you’ve never had a wart before you may not be able to distinguish this growth from other common foot problems. This is where a podiatrist can help. A foot doctor can diagnose warts through a simple physical exam. Plantar warts can cause pain, particularly when standing or walking. Patients who have diabetes or circulation problems in their feet should seek immediate medical care if they develop warts or experience any changes in their feet.
How are plantar warts treated?
While warts can go away on their own this can usually take years for the body to fight off the viral infection. Since plantar warts can be uncomfortable or even painful many people turn to a podiatrist to treat warts. The type of treatment that your foot doctor will recommend will depend on the size, amount and location of the wart or warts. Common wart treatments include:
- Medication: a special acid-based medication (e.g. salicylic acid) is applied to the skin where the acid will break down the wart. Several applications may be required over the course of several weeks in order to get rid of the wart.
- Freezing: sometimes warts can be frozen off through a procedure known as cryotherapy
- Curettage: this is the surgical removal of a wart using a special scalpel (local anesthesia is applied to the area to numb it before treatment)
- Laser: laser treatment can also be used to breakdown and destroy the wart
It’s important to protect your feet from potential reinfection. If you are prone to developing plantar warts then talk with your podiatrist about measures you can take to keep your feet healthy and free from infection.
It's easy to ignore a wart on your hand or knee. Although you might find the wart unsightly, it probably won't interfere with your life. However, plantar warts on your feet are another matter, for they can make every step that you take incredibly painful. Fortunately, your podiatrists, in Fairfax, VA, Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dharia, offer effective removal treatments for these painful growths.
How did I get a wart?
Warts are caused by a strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus enters your body through a cut, scratch, or even a patch of dry skin. Once it penetrates your skin, new skin cells begin to grow rapidly, forming a bumpy growth.
When warts develop on the bottom of your feet, they're called plantar warts. Plantar warts are usually flat rather than bumpy. Although they may start out looking like any other wart, the pressure from your feet flattens them.
You may have caught the virus that causes plantar warts if you walked barefoot in a public locker room, shower, or pool area. Warts can also be spread by skin-to-skin contact or by sharing socks, towels, or a bed with someone who has a wart.
Why don't over-the-counter wart products work on my plantar wart?
Drugstore wart preparations only penetrate the first few layers of a wart. If you apply the product the minute you notice the wart, you may have some success. Unfortunately, it often takes a while for most people to realize that a wart is the cause of their foot pain. By then, over-the-counter products may no longer be helpful.
In response, your Fairfax podiatrist offers several ways to remove warts, including:
- Salicylic Acid Preparations: Applying the acid to your wart every night gradually dissolves it.
- Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy treatments performed in your foot doctor's office freeze wart cells, killing them.
- Electrodessication and Curettage: Your podiatrist scrapes off the wart with a special instrument then uses an electric needle to kill lingering wart cells.
- Laser Treatment: Laser treatment, the newest wart treatment option, uses laser energy to remove warts without damaging healthy skin surrounding the wart.
- Immune Therapy: Immune therapy injections take advantage of your body's natural healing ability. After receiving the injections, your immune system will target and kill the wart cells.
Give us a call
Do you have a painful plantar wart? If so, call your Fairfax, VA, podiatrists, Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dharia, at (703) 352-8888 to schedule an appointment.