How To Get Rid Of A Plantar Wart?
Updated: Jun 30
At My Family Podiatry, we see people of all ages concerned they may have a plantar wart. Whilst being more common in children, plantar warts (or verrucas) can affect people of all ages and can cause a great amount of discomfort. But what is a plantar wart? And how can we help to fix it?
What Is A Plantar Wart?
Plantar warts (or verruca pedis) are an infection caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are many different strains of HPV which can lead to a number of skin infections including cold sores. The virus is easily transmissible between people and thrives in warm, moist environments. Unfortunately, this makes it very easy to contract the virus through activities as simple as walking barefoot on a floor someone infected walked on. Communal showers and pools are especially common infection sites.
Plantar warts may appear as a singular wart or in a mosaic cluster and can cause a great deal of pain. They can be distinguished from other skin conditions by the way they disrupt the striations of the skin. Small black dots are commonly seen in plantar warts due to small blood vessel formation in the wart tissue.
Understanding the Stages of a Plantar Wart
Before diving into plantar wart treatment, it's crucial to understand the life cycle of these skin annoyances. Plantar warts typically go through three stages - onset, maturation, and resolution. During the onset, the HPV virus infiltrates the skin, causing a small, painless bump to appear. As the plantar wart matures, it becomes more prominent and potentially painful. Finally, without treatment, the plantar wart may eventually resolve itself over time, but this can take years and cause significant discomfort.
Plantar Wart Treatments: Over-the-counter Vs. Professional
There are many old wives tales when it comes to treating plantar warts. These range from rubbing it with a banana peel to covering it in tape, all with varying reported success. There are also a number of treatments available in pharmacies and grocery stores to treat warts. Unfortunately many of these treatments are not sufficiently strong to penetrate the thicker skin of the foot and as such will not resolve plantar warts.
At My Family Podiatry, we carefully and precisely apply a treatment of either salicylic acid or silver nitrate to the wart tissue. This treatment involves debridement of the callus covering the plantar wart before a cream is placed on the wart and covered with a dressing. The dressing is left in place for one week before you return for subsequent debridement and application if necessary. Some discomfort may occur but it is typically much less than would be experienced with other treatments such as freezing the wart.
The acid treatment method works to kill the viral tissue and create an immune response from your body to resolve the infection. In patients with more than one plantar wart, resolution of one will often lead to all the warts resolving.
How To Prevent Plantar Warts
While plantar wart treatment is effective, prevention is always the best approach. Adopting simple habits like those listed below can significantly reduce the risk of contracting the HPV virus.
Wear thongs or shoes in all communal showers and bathrooms: This can prevent contraction of the virus from the floors.
Cover any cuts or abrasions on your feet: This reduces the risk of the virus entering your body through the broken skin.
Avoid direct contact with warts where possible: Avoid sharing socks or other clothing with individuals with a plantar wart where the virus may be transferred from their skin to yours.
Plantar warts can be a painful and irritating condition, but with professional care and treatment, they can be successfully eradicated. At My Family Podiatry, we are experienced in plantar wart treatment, helping you regain comfort and peace of mind. Contact us today on 07 3088 6116 or click the button below to book an appointment and say goodbye to the discomfort of plantar warts. Let us care for your feet and have you walking without pain.