Plantar Warts: Why Do I Keep on Getting Them?
A plantar wart is a common viral skin infection that appears as a small, rough growth resembling a cauliflower or solid blister on the sole of the foot. These skin growths are non-cancerous. When these lesions are located on a weight bearing surface, they tend to grow inward and will build up hard tissue overtop of it, resembling a callus or corn. Plantar warts affect both children and adults. Here is a list of commonly asked questions about warts and their answers provided by a Registered Chiropodist.
What causes plantar wart?
Plantar warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus which has made its home in the top layer of the skin. They are generally harmless and not easily transmitted with direct contact.
Can I treat my wart at home?
Some warts are asymptomatic and may resolve spontaneously on their own with time. However, more aggressive warts require treatment. Over the counter treatments as well as home remedies usually do not work. If you are experiencing symptoms with your warts such as pain, if the wart is spreading to other areas on your feet, or it is increasing in size, it is best to seek professional help.
What can I do to prevent plantar warts?
Prevention lies with education. Warts thrive in moist, warm environments. This is why it is important to always wear shoes at the gym, public showers, or swimming pools. Protecting your feet and particularly the skin from cuts, scrapes, and tears will reduce the risk of plantar warts. Finally, keep your immune system in check. Eating a well-balanced diet, participating in regular exercise, and attending annual check-ups with your family doctor will help to ensure a proper defense system against harmful viruses.
How long is the recovery time after a wart treatment?
This depends on the type of treatment. There are a number of different treatment options available for plantar warts, varying from topicals to freezing to excisions. Here is brief list of treatments available and their recovery times.
Salicylic acid (prescribed dosage)
Salicylic acid is a common topical treatment for warts. It acts to break down the bonds between skin cells, softening the skin and making it shed quicker. This treatment is relatively painless and does not require down time.
Canthacur Plus is a strong topical treatment for warts, causing a blister to develop where applied. Although discomfort will not follow immediately after Canthacur treatment, you may start to feel pain, tenderness, mild swelling, and discomfort several hours after treatment. Symptoms may last for a couple days and up to a week. Most are able to go on with their daily activities, although strenuous physical activity is usually avoided. Multiple rounds of treatment may be required.
Cryotherapy involves freezing the wart and thereby killing the virus. This treatment may cause some discomfort at the time of application and pain may last for up to 3 days after. Multiple rounds of treatment may be required.
Excision is a minor surgical procedure under a local anesthetic. It involves removing the wart by cutting it out with a scalpel. Most are able to return to normal activity within 3 days and complete healing can take up to a month.
When to see a chiropodist?
If you have tried over the counter medications with little to no success, if you are experiencing pain, or notice the wart is increasing in size or spreading, make an appointment with a Chiropodist, who will assess the wart and determine the right treatment path for you.
Book an appointment
You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic. Schedule an appointment by using the Appointment Request form below or contact the clinic at 416-769-FEET(3338).