What are warts?
Warts are small, rough growths that develop on the skin of the hands and feet. They can develop individually or in clusters. They are common in children of school age, but can also affect otherwise healthy adults.
Verrucas are warts that form on the soles of the feet.
What causes warts?
Warts are caused by an infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV), of which there are several subtypes, which affect humans.
What are the symptoms?
Some plantar warts are uncomfortable, particularly if they are on a weight- bearing area when it may feel like having a stone in your shoe.
At LINIA Skin Clinic we offer a wide range of treatment options for those with warts/veruccas. A full consultation and examination are required. Based on the examination your dermatologist will recommend a personalized treatment plan.
The treatments generally include:
Salicylic acid preparations
Salicylic acid is a chemical that helps remove the hard outer layer of the wart tender, you should stop treatment for a day or two. The success rate is good for those who persist.
Mosaic warts (see above) in particular may respond to a gel containing formaldehyde.
Freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen, using either a cotton wool bud or a spray, may be the next option. A number of freezings may be necessary. Cryotherapy can be combined with the use of a salicylic acid preparation.
Removal under a local anaesthetic
The usual technique is to scrape the plantar wart away using a sharpened spoon-like instrument (a curette), and then to cauterize the remaining raw area. However, all surgical procedures leave scars and these may be painful on the sole. Furthermore, the wart may recur. Other possible treatments that a specialist may consider include topical dinitrochlorobenzene and 5-fluorouracil, intralesional bleomycin and interferons, photodynamic therapy, and laser treatment
When considering treatment of plantar warts, the following facts should be taken into account:
- Warts usually go away by themselves, and, when this happens, no scarring occurs.
- Successful treatment of a viral wart does not prevent further warts developing.
- Some warts can be very stubborn; treatment does not always work and may be quite time-consuming.
- Treating plantar warts can be painful, especially when liquid nitrogen is used, and can occasionally leave a scar which, on the sole, can be uncomfortable.
- Sometimes it may be sensible to leave a plantar wart alone and allow it to resolve spontaneously. However, if treatment is necessary, your doctor will usually start with the least painful options, especially for children.