Plantar Wart Treatment in Phoenix, AZ
Having a plantar wart can be an extremely painful condition. Continue scrolling down to learn al about plantar warts including treatment options.
What are plantar warts?
A plantar wart is a soft tissue growth that is usually found on the soles of the feet. A plantar wart is caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV. The HPV virus can infect your foot through small cuts or tiny cracks on the bottom of the feet. Once the virus breaks your protective barrier of the skin, it causes very fast growth of cells and sets up shop in the tiny capillaries of your foot. Capillaries are a type of blood vessels where oxygen and waste exchange happen. All of this leads to the growth of a plantar wart.
Why is a plantar wart so painful?
There are several reasons why a plantar wart can be so painful. They include:
1. The plantar wart is over a pressure point
Plantar warts usually are found on the weight-bearing areas of the feet, which means they are under constant pressure when you stand, walk, or run. The pressure on the wart can cause it to grow further inside your foot, deep into the skin, sometimes even pressing on nerve endings and making it excruciatingly painful.
2. The plantar wart is under a callus
Over time, as a defense mechanism, your body may make a callus plantar wart may form a thick callus over the plantar wart to protect the skin. While this callus can help contain the virus, it can also increase the pressure and pain. In some cases, the pain from the callus can be worse than the pain directly caused by the wart.
3. Plantar warts temporarily damage healthy skin
One of the things that any wart can do, plantar warts included is temporarily damage the tissue that it infects. This can also be a reason why a plantar wart is so painful. As the wart heals, new tissue that is made will be healthy again, and the pain will get better over time.
Signs & Symptoms of A Plantar Wart
Plantar warts have certain characteristics that can help you know if you have one. They can include
1. Tiny Black Dots
One of the hallmark signs of plantar warts are black dots inside of the wart. Sometimes someone can see these black dots on the callus, or after a doctor shaves the callus down. These dots are broken capillaries damaged by the HPV virus in the skin.
2. Hard, thick, or callused skin
Plantar warts many times are often covered in a callus. The callus alone can feel like walking on a rock or pebble.
3. Changes to Skin Lines
Plantar warts can change or disrupt the natural lines in your foot's skin, essentially erasing the natural lines in your skin in the area where the wart has invaded,
Treatment Options For Plantar Warts
Even though a plantar wart can be extremely painful, there are several treatment options available to help your body fight this infection and get rid of the wart once in for all.
1. Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications
These include treatments like Compound W which most people will start with first in hopes of getting rid of a plantar wart.
2. Cantharidin Treatment
Cantharidin is a compound that comes from a beetle, and has been used for centuries to treat plantar warts. Cantharidin is also known as blister beetle or Beetlejuice.
The cantharidin causes your skin to blister and will lift as much of the wart as possible away from your skin. This process takes several days.
After 2 weeks, you can return to your doctor to clean up the area and to check on the progress of the wart removal. Depending on how deep the wart goes, it could take multiple canthardin treatments to fully get rid of the plantar wart.
3. Prescription Medications
In some cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe stronger medications or topical treatments to tackle the wart.
For many cases, boosting your immune system's response to the virus may be necessary, especially for stubborn warts.
5. Falknor's Needling
Falknor's needling is a method to treat plantar warts that have not responded to other treatments.
This includes using a sterile needle to push the virus deeper into the skin to where the immune system has a better chance to attack the virus through a stronger immune response.
You will be given a local anesthetic for this procedure before it begins.
Preventing Plantar Warts
To lower your risk of catching the HPV virus which is responsible for plantar warts, follow the current tips.
Don't go barefoot in public spaces: In public places like swimming pools, spas, and locker rooms, wear flip-flops or other types of shoes.
A strong immune system can help your body fight off the virus. To help your immune system be able to fight this virus, a healthy diet full of whole foods, regular movement, and combating stress are key to keeping your immune system strong.