You may cringe at the very idea of having a wart, but these small growths aren’t nearly as repellent as they’re made out to be. Plantar warts -- which typically appear on the weight-bearing areas of your feet -- may be bothersome and stubborn, but they’re also benign and highly treatable. At Universal Footcare in New York City, board-certified podiatrist Neha J. Pathak, DPM offers effective treatment solutions for patients with irritating plantar warts. To schedule a visit, call the office in Chelsea or book your appointment online today.
Plantar warts are small growths that appear on the sole of your foot. In most cases, they emerge on the heel, base of the toes, or another weight-bearing area. Because plantar warts grow under constant pressure, they tend to be much flatter than common warts that appear on fingers and hands.
In fact, plantar warts often grow inward beneath a thick layer of skin, or callus. Therefore, you may not see a visible growth, but simply notice a callus over a well-defined spot on your skin that feels tender under your body weight.
Visible plantar warts typically look like a cluster of small, fleshy growths that contain black pinpoints known as wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels.
Although plantar warts grow slowly, they will increase in size if left untreated. They usually feel tender or painful under pressure, especially if they’re growing inward.
Like warts that appear on other parts of your body, plantar warts are an infectious skin growth caused by the human papillomavirus virus (HPV).
While more than 100 different types of HPV exist, only a few cause warts on your feet. Different strains of the virus cause warts on other areas.
The strains of HPV that do cause plantar warts enter your body through cuts, microscopic openings, or other weak areas on the bottom of your feet.
Although many plantar warts go away on their own, it’s critical to see Dr. Pathak if you have a wart on the bottom of your foot that’s been around for a while or causes you pain. You should also seek treatment if you have more than one wart or a wart cluster that’s especially large.
Effective in-office plantar wart treatments include:
This common approach uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart off the surface of your skin. Because plantar warts can be stubborn, you may need to return to Dr. Pathak’s office every few weeks for additional treatments until the wart disappears completely.
This method involves shaving your wart and painting the exposed area with trichloroacetic acid, a solution that causes a blister to form beneath the lesion. Most patients return for weekly acid treatments until their wart disappears completely.
When more conservative treatment approaches fail, Dr. Pathak may use electrosurgery to destroy your wart with an electric needle or curettage to scrape it away or deploy a combination of both techniques. Surgical wart removal is performed with a local anesthetic.
If you’re ready to get rid of your plantar wart, call Universal Footcare or use the online booking feature to make an appointment today.