Treatment Options for Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are an infection caused by a strain of human papilloma virus (HPV). On the bottom of the foot, where the skin is thick and callused, plantar warts can cause pain and often can be a pain to get rid of. Many treatment options are available for plantar warts, depending on the extent, location, and previous treatments.
Before coming to our office, many patients will try over-the-counter topical medications containing salicylic acid or liquid nitrogen. These may be effective if the wart is treated early or is on a part of the foot where the skin is relatively thin. Unfortunately, warts will often persist because these treatments do not penetrate deeply enough to get through to the deepest layers. For some patients with small, superficial warts we will dispense topical medications containing salicylic acid combined with other compounds to improve the penetration of the medication. If used diligently over several weeks or months, these may eliminate the problem.
For most warts, the callused skin will be trimmed from the area and a topical medication called Cantharidin will be applied. This compound causes a blister to form, allowing the infected skin to separate from the underlying healthy skin. During the course of treatment, patients are encouraged to keep the area covered with tape to help the skin layers separate.
Larger, deeper, or more resistant warts will often require different types of treatment. Surgical excision and cauterization of localized, deep, or solitary warts is very successful but will create a wound that takes time to heal. Prescription topical anti-viral medications, such as imiquimod and 5-flurouracil, can be successful in certain situations. For some patients, a series of injections with a compound called Candida albicans antigen will be recommended. This compound stimulates the immune system to attack the HPV virus and fight the wart away. The treatment may consist of up to three injections given at monthly intervals.
Another form of immune therapy is a Panacos Graft procedure. This procedure is a form of auto-immunization, where a section of an existing wart is transplanted into the deeper tissues to stimulate the body’s immune system to fight the virus from the inside out. This procedure is usually reserved for multiple, extensive wart infections that have been resistant to all other treatment options and is successful over 95% of the time.
Professional Plantar Wart Treatment in Frisco and Avon, CO
Now that you understand the treatment options available for plantar warts, it is time to schedule your appointment. Make an appointment at either of our Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle offices and we will assess your condition and provide the appropriate care. Call (970) 949-0500 to connect with our Avon podiatry office or (970) 668-4565 to reach our Frisco, CO office. You can also request an appointment with either location online today.