If you have a plantar wart on your foot, you may have tried at-home treatments or over-the-counter solutions. However, not all plantar warts respond to this kind of care.
That’s where we come in. At Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center in Laveen, Chandler, and Mesa, Arizona, our providers offer specialized plantar wart care. Here at our offices, we can help you find the best option to get rid of your plantar warts. In some cases, that might mean surgery.
The basics of plantar warts
Plantar warts are small, rough growths that usually appear on pressure-bearing areas of the feet, such as the balls or heels. These warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Furthermore, the virus enters the foot through cuts or cracks on the feet.
Plantar warts aren't usually a serious health concern, but you should seek medical care if any of the following factors apply:
- They keep returning after they resolve or after you treat them
- You have diabetes or poor feeling in your feet
- They cause pain
- You aren’t sure if they’re warts
You should also seek medical care if you have a weak immune system or if the growth bleeds or changes in shape or color.
Treating plantar warts
If you have one or more plantar warts on your feet, we have a variety of treatments that can banish them for good. Here are some of the options:
Generally, our team begins with conservative treatment options. For example, we may try a topical solution, such as salicylic acid to encourage the wart to peel off. Or, we may try cryotherapy, in which we use liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart so it comes off.
These treatments work for some plantar warts, but not all. In fact, these treatments may get rid of an old wart, but a new one may appear right away. This happens most frequently if a wart is left untreated for a long time. The longer a wart is left untreated, the greater the chance is that the wart will shed virus cells into your skin, causing future warts.
If your wart doesn’t go away with conservative treatments, or if you get a new wart right after treatment, we can look at surgical options. One option is laser surgery. With this treatment, we close the blood vessels in the wart, which destroys the wart.
Another option is excision. With this treatment, we cut out the wart. In either case, we perform these treatments under local anesthesia.
What to expect after wart surgery
Surgical wart removal generally doesn’t come with any downtime. You just need to keep the area bandaged and clean as it heals. You might have some discomfort as you step on the area, but it shouldn’t hurt worse than the pain you may have felt when you had the wart.
Also, to prevent future plantar warts, you should wear shoes in wet areas, such as pools or locker rooms, since HPV can thrive on wet floors.
If you have plantar warts, we can help you banish them for good. To get the help you need, book an appointment online or over the phone with Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center today.