If you notice growths on the soles or heel of your feet, you may have plantar warts. While these warts aren’t harmful to your health, they can still cause discomfort. But the doctors at Independence Foot and Ankle Associates, LLC in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Feasterville, and Perkasie, Pennsylvania, can provide wart treatment and removal services. Wart treatments can also improve the appearance of your feet. Learn more by calling the office or booking an appointment online today.
What are warts?
Warts are small growths that develop in the weight-bearing areas of your feet. You may notice thickened areas of the skin resembling calluses that appear on pressure-prone areas of your feet, including the heel.
When warts develop, you may have discomfort or pain when walking or running.
What causes warts?
A specific strain of the human papillomavirus is the cause of warts. Other strains of HPV cause warts to grow on different parts of your body.
The virus associated with plantar warts isn’t contagious from one person to the next unless you have open wounds and frequently go barefoot in public areas. The virus enters your body through open cuts on the sole of your foot.
What are the risk factors for warts?
The HPV virus thrives in moist, warm environments. If you frequently walk barefoot in public areas or use public showers, you’re at increased risk of developing warts.
Plantar warts are also more common in:
- Those with weakened immune systems
- Those with a previous history of plantar warts
- Young children and teens
How are warts treated?
Your doctor performs a physical examination of the growths to confirm a wart diagnosis. He may also remove part of the wart and submit it to a laboratory for additional testing. Many warts disappear on their own, but without professional treatment, they may return.
Treatment options your doctor may recommend include:
Your doctor may use a salicylic acid or other chemical agents to remove layers of the wart. The process also encourages your body’s immune system to fight the wart and prevent its regrowth. He uses a prescription-strength acid to treat warts and may recommend continued treatment at home with regular office visits for monitoring.
To remove warts permanently, your doctor may elect to treat them with cryotherapy. Cryotherapy techniques use liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart. The chemical kills the skin tissue, and in a few days, the dead tissue falls off. You may need more treatments to eliminate the entire wart.
Your doctor may opt to remove the wart surgically if other treatment options have failed. He numbs the treatment area before removal for your comfort. Following surgery, your doctor may recommend several days of rest before resuming normal activities.