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Treatment Options for Plantar Warts

A plantar wart starts out as a tiny growth on the sole of your foot; you might notice it when washing your feet.

At first you may not even be able to see it, but as it grows, the skin gets rough and it may become painful, especially when walking or standing. Sometimes little black dots may appear inside the lesion.

plantar wart under man's foot

Plantar Wart Removal Brisbane

If you’ve ever had a plantar wart, chances are you’re familiar with the scenario above.

In days gone by, your treatment may have included covering them with banana, pineapple, apple, or potato slices – none of which were particularly effective! The thinking was that if you cut off the supply of nutrients, the wart would die. Other popular treatments included rubbing chalk on them, or bathing them with the milk of a dandelion plant.

These days, thankfully, there are better (and less messy) treatment options to choose from.

What Are Plantar Warts?

Warts on the feet are known as plantar warts or ‘Verruca pedis’. 

They’re caused by a viral infection from the Human Papilloma Virus. While there’s over 100 different strains of HPV, only a few of them cause plantar warts1.

Although they’re not harmful, plantar warts can become painful or bleed.

While plantar warts may develop at any age, they are most commonly seen in children and teens. 

How Can a Podiatrist Help?

Plantar warts can be stubborn and hard to get rid of, but podiatrists have a range of effective treatments that aim to kill the wart. 

Best results come from using a combination of treatments over several months, such as:

  • Debridement, which is a fancy term for thoroughly cleaning the wound, removing thickened skin, and taking off the top surface of the wart.
  • Electrosurgery that burns away wart tissue using a small needle with an electrical pulse.
  • Applying a topical solution such as Duofilm to the wart.  It can take between 6 and 12 weeks for treatment to be effective, but there’s no pain and the wart will eventually peel off.

While your wart is being treated, sponge rubbers and felt can be used to cushion around it, so you won’t have any pain with extra pressure.

Do All Plantar Warts Need Treatment?

No, not necessarily. If you’re not experiencing any pain, you could just leave it alone. 

In fact, watching and waiting can be a viable treatment option since warts can spontaneously resolve in up to 80% of patients within 2 years2!

Where To From Here?

Research is currently being done into the efficacy of injecting Vitamin D3 into the lesion, and the results are promising as there are minimal side effects and a low rate of recurrence3.

As the health professional trained in all things feet – contact Trevor Lane Podiatry about planter wart removal or treatment if you live in the Redlands or Brisbane’s bayside.

References:

  1. Witchey, D.J., Witchey, N.B., Roth-Kauffman, M.M., and Kauffman, M.K. “Plantar Warts: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Clinical Management” Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, vol. 118, no. 2, 2018, pp. 92-105.  https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2018.024
  2. Hekmatjah, J., Farshhchian, M., Grant-Kels, J.M., Mehregan, D. The status of treatment for plantar warts in 2021: No definitive advancements in decades for a common dermatology disease, Clinics in Dermatology, Volume 39, Issue 4, 2021, Pages 688-694.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0738081X21000894
  3. Ahmad, N., Waleed, A., Amira, I.  & Khattab, F M. (2022) Immunotherapeutic modalities for the treatment of recalcitrant plantar warts: a comparative study, Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 33:2, 922-927, DOI: 10.1080/09546634.2020.1789540