By Brian K. Bailey, D.P.M., Body-Mind-Spirit Podiatric Care
One of the most common foot pathologies seen in our office is plantar warts. They are painful and embarrassing to many patients. Most patients have exhausted home remedies and over-the-counter treatments with no success at removing the unwanted warts.
What Are Warts?
A wart is an infection caused by a virus, which can invade your skin through small cuts or breaks. Over time, the wart develops into a hard, rough growth on the surface of the skin. A wart is most commonly seen on the bottom of the foot (known as a plantar wart), but can also appear on the top. Children, teens, and people with allergies or weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to the wart virus.
Warts may appear spongy, with tiny red, brown, or black spots. They can grow up to an inch or more across, occurring alone (solitary) or with smaller warts clustered nearby (mosaic). Warts are sometimes mistaken for corns or calluses. They can persist for years and recur in the same spot. If left untreated, warts can spread to other parts of the foot or even to the hands or other areas of the body.
The podiatrist examines your wart carefully to determine that it is not a corn or a callus. A wart will usually feel painful when your podiatrist squeezes it from side to side. To examine the wart further, the hard skin layer around it may need to be trimmed. A wart will have certain spots that bleed when trimmed; a callus will not.
There are many ways to treat warts, depending on their size and location. Medication, surgical removal, or both, may be effective treatments to remove warts. A few of the possible treatment methods are described below; freezing or burning may also be used to treat warts. Even after warts are removed, they may recur.
• Medication. The wart is broken down by applying an acidic medication. Blister-forming medication may also be used. Treatment may need to be repeated over several weeks.
• Curettage. The wart is removed with a small, spoon shaped instrument (curette). To lessen pain, a local anesthetic is often used with this procedure.
• Laser. The wart is vaporized, using focused light energy produced by a laser. To lessen pain, a local anesthetic is often used with this procedure.
Now that summer is here, it’s time to kick those ugly, uncomfortable and distressing warts to the curb. Give us a call at Body-Mind-Spirit Podiatric Center, and we’ll get you started down the right path.
Have a foot problem that’s keeping you from getting the most out of life – and summer fun? Call my office at (606) 324-FOOT to schedule an appointment. My office is conveniently located at 500 14th St. in Ashland, at the intersection with Central Avenue.
Body-Mind-Spirit Podiatric Center
500 14th Street, Ashland, Kentucky, 41101
Phone (606) 324-FOOT