From Sore Soles to Smooth Steps: Eradicating Plantar Warts

October 16, 2023
From Sore Soles to Smooth Steps: Eradicating Plantar Warts

A wart is a small growth that can appear on various body parts. Warts are an extension of HPV, also known as the human papillomavirus. While these growths are considered noncancerous, they can cause discomfort or pain, especially when they develop on the bottoms of your feet. Approximately 10% of people develop warts on their feet (plantar warts). 

Plantar warts grow on the heel of the foot, making everyday activities incredibly uncomfortable. They are considered to be contagious through skin-to-skin contact. Moreover, placing consistent pressure on the feet can make plantar worse. It is common for plantar warts to have small black dots on them, indicating blood vessel clotting. This may lead to further complications.

If plantar warts persist, it is very important to consult a medical professional. This article will offer solutions to those struggling with plantar warts. 

Plantar Wart Removal

In most cases, plantar warts do not require surgery or removal. The immune system can usually fight off HPV in one to two years. 

However, due to their contagious nature, plantar warts can spread and/or multiply. This can be painful and embarrassing for some, leading them to explore plantar wart removal options. In such cases, healthcare professionals would recommend the following plantar wart removal options.

  • Immunotherapy: The purpose of immunotherapy is to boost your immune system, effectively helping your body to fight against HPV. This is done using a topical chemical called diphencyprone (DCP). Diphencyprone causes a mild allergic reaction in the body that eliminates plantar warts. 
  • Electrocautery: This method is designed to burn the plantar warts off. A healthcare provider will use a tool that builds electric current, generating enough heat to destroy the warts. 
  • Cryotherapy: This is the process of freezing and thus destroying plantar warts. A healthcare professional uses liquid nitrogen or argon gas to eliminate warts. While this works to remove the warts, it does not eliminate the virus from the body. 
  • Laser therapy treatment: Lasers can be used to cut off blood supply to the plantar warts. This will effectively kill them by destroying the tiny blood vessels inside. 
  • Plantar wart surgery: In most cases, surgery is not necessary for plantar warts. Surgery will be done using a scalpel (surgical knife), cutting around the wart. A curette (small scooper) will then be used to scoop it out. A local anesthetic will also be used to numb the area. 
  • Topical medicine: For less invasive methods than surgery, topical medicine is another effective treatment for plantar warts. It uses a cantharidin chemical to create blisters underneath the warts, cutting off blood supply and killing it. 

At Home: Plantar Wart Treatment

In many circumstances, plantar wart treatment can be done at home. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to eliminate plantar warts.

  • Apple cider vinegar: Easily accessible at any grocery store, apple cider vinegar has strong antibacterial properties (acetic acid). It also has malic acid that exfoliates the skin. By rubbing it on your warts, it’s possible to pull out your plantar warts. 
  • Duct tape: While this is not a clinically proven solution, there is anecdotal evidence that duct tape can be used to remove layers of plantar warts. Using duct tape on your warts for several weeks can weaken them, allowing you to eventually pull them out with tweezers.
  • Salicylic acid: You can find salicylic acid in most pharmacies, drug stores, or grocery stores. For the purpose of removing plantar warts, find a higher percentage product (20% to 40%). Apply it to the warts for several weeks, then pull them out with tweezers. 

Treat Plantar Warts at Diablo Foot & Ankle Today

Do you have plantar warts? Are they painful, making it difficult to complete everyday tasks? Diablo Foot & Ankle is ready to serve! Our Board-Certified Podiatrists will diagnose and treat your plantar warts so you can get back on your feet again. We will find the least invasive method possible to minimize your discomfort. 

Are you ready to get the help you need? Contact Diablo Foot & Ankle today!

Common Podiatry Questions

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.

What does a Podiatrist treat?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.

What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?

A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.

Where are your Podiatry clinics located?

At Diablo Foot & Ankle, we treat our foot and ankle patients in two main clinic locations in Walnut Creek and in Antioch California. Dr. Eman Elmi and Dr. Shayan Esspoor are Board Certified Podiatrists who specialize in the treatment of foot and ankle disorders.

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