Plantar warts typically appear on the bottom of the foot and most commonly develop in children, adolescents and the elderly. In most cases, plantar warts are not a major health concern and, for the most part, are a cosmetic concern. However, if painful or uncomfortable, the removal of plantar wars may be necessary. If self-care methods are not successful, patients may need to see a podiatrist for surgical treatment.
Plantar Wart Causes
Like all warts, plantar warts are caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). They are often acquired in public places or by going barefoot, and can develop either as a single wart or a cluster of several warts in one area.
Plantar Wart Symptoms
Symptoms of plantar warts can include:
- Small and fleshy growths on the bottoms of your feet
- Calluses on a specific spot on the skin
- Tiny black dots which, in actuality, are clotted blood vessels
- Discomfort or pain in your feet when either standing or walking
Our West Medical podiatrist will thoroughly examine the patient’s foot to make a complete diagnosis of plantar warts. In the majority of cases, our podiatrist will be able to diagnose a plantar wart by merely assessing one of the growths on your feet. If there is any question about diagnosis, a podiatrist can use a scalpel to get a sample of the lesion for further assessment.
Plantar Warts Treatment Options
A number of self-care techniques can be used to treat plantar warts before you opt for a surgical procedure. Remember that if you have diabetes or never damage in your feet, you should talk to your doctor before attempting any at-home preventative measures. Salicylic acid – Many pharmacies will sell over the counter plantar wart medication that comes in the form of a patch or liquid. Many of them contain salicylic acid, which is utilized to peel off the infected skin. In many cases, for the complete removal of the plantar wart, patients may need to continue this treatment over a period of several weeks. Freezing products – Another form of over the counter medication, this product is used to treat plantar warts by freezing them. Although many of these treatments may be successful, they are usually not as effective as cryotherapy and may cause some pain and discomfort.
If other methods have failed to treat the condition, laser therapy, cryotherapy, or surgery may be used to remove the wart. Laser treatment - Using “pulse dye” laser treatment, podiatrists can cauterize the effected blood vessels, causing the tissue that has been infected to die and fall off the foot. In many cases, this form of treatment can be painful and may cause some scarring.
Cryotherapy – During this procedure, our podiatrist will use liquid nitrogen to freeze and remove your wart. Liquid nitrogen causes a blister to develop, and the tissue will eventually die and fall off following the procedure. In some cases, the actual application of the liquid nitrogen can cause some pain, and some blister may be tender to the touch, as well. Minor surgery - If other treatment methods prove unsuccessful, a podiatrist may decide to cut away the wart manually. By utilizing an electric needle, the podiatrist will first use local anesthesia, and then cut the plantar wart off. Podiatrists usually avoid this form of treatment because, in many cases, it can cause scarring.
Plantar warts are quick and easy to treat. Don't suffer any longer! To learn more about plantar wart treatment in Los Angeles, please contact West Medical at (855) 690-0565, and our helpful medical staff will answer any questions you may have.
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