Plantar Wart Removal – What is Your Best Choice?
The plantar wart usually forms on the feet or hands and is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). They are small skin growths which enter the body through tiny cuts and skin breaks. Plantar warts typically aren’t serious health concerns however they can be stubborn to remove. Unlike common warts, the plantar wart is usually larger and more difficult to remove. Plantar warts can be especially painful when infected on the feet due to the constant pressure standing and walking on them. While some warts go away on their own, most suffers find that plantar wart removal is the only option.
There are several methods for plantar wart removal. The method your doctor will recommend could be based on several factors. If you are having a plantar wart removed from your foot and your job requires you to stand for long periods of time, your physician may opt for a less invasive procedure that may take several visits such as cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is when the doctor freezes the wart with liquid nitrogen.
Large plantar warts may take multiple applications of this procedure to remove it. While this method causes short-term pain (due to the intense cold) it is often described like a “bee sting” as the area thaws out. The patient can usually resume normal duties after several hours. Salicylic acid is often used to remove the plantar wart. Salicylic is a liquid or paste but it is applied topically to the wart and covered with a bandage. Typically this method is painless, however the resulting blister from the salicylic acid may cause discomfort. In about a week, on your next visit to your doctor he/she will cut away the dead wart. A third method your doctor may use an electric needle; this is a surgical procedure where the doctor places the needle at the base of the wart kills and by burning it then cutting it off from the skin.
If the previous procedures do not eliminate your wart, your doctor may use cantharidin. This is topically applied and covered with a bandage, it is generally painless. The cantharidin (a secretion obtained from a species of blister beetle) causes blistering to the skin underneath the wart. This causes the wart to lift off your skin allowing your professional to remove it on your next visit.
Laser treatments may be used to eliminate hard to remove warts. Laser is often not the first choice due to the painfulness and cost of this procedure. Doctors often try less invasive alternatives first.
Immunotherapy is a method sometimes used to treat hard to remove warts. This method requires the doctor to inject an antigen, typically candida, into the wart. This injection causes the body’s immune system to recognize the wart infected area sending white blood cells to kill off the wart. This procedure works much the same way the flu vaccine works on the body.
Many wart sufferers use a variety of home treatments for plantar warts. Salicylic acid is a product that is sold over the counter in liquid and paste forms are topically applied to the infected area. Depending upon the size and severity of the plantar wart this method may take weeks or months to remove the wart. The main benefit of this procedure, if it works for you, is the cost, generally under $30.
For larger plantar warts if you choose a method that is performed by a doctor you may be in for multiple visits to their office since the larger the plantar wart is the harder to they are to remove. This may drive the cost into the hundreds of dollars.
What ever method you decide, early plantar wart removal is always best.