Plantar warts are ordinary warts of the sole, or plantar surface, of the foot. Since they are on a pressure area, they grow inward and are often tender and painful. Like other warts, they are harmless skin growths that are caused by a virus.
What are the causes of plantar warts?
We do not know why some people get plantar warts easily while others never get them. There is no way to prevent them. We do know that they are caused by a virus and that they are slightly contagious (can spread from person to person).
You should not share clothing or linen with someone who has plantar warts, and they may spread on the body and seed other areas.
Plantar warts absolutely should be treated because they are contagious and rarely a wart left untreated for years can become cancerous.
How are they best treated?
There is no single perfect treatment for plantar warts, since we are unable to kill the virus without killing the cells that the virus has infected. However, many people have noticed significant results with natural products such as Heal Warts, an effective plantar wart treatment.
Plantar warts can be destroyed with surgery, by freezing with liquid nitrogen, or with other chemicals. A good treatment to start off with is Duofilm or Dr. Scholl’s Clear Away (40% salicylic acid plasters) available without a prescription from your pharmacy.
The CO2 laser is the most effective method for treating warts, but it is also the most expensive method.
The treatment used on your plantar warts depends on their location and size, your type of skin, and medical judgment. Sometimes new warts will form while existing ones are being destroyed. The only thing that can be done is to let them grow large enough to be seen.
No matter what treatment is used, plantar warts occasionally fail to disappear. They may also return weeks or months after an apparent cure. Do not become concerned if one recurs. Make an appointment with your dermatologist and the treatment will be repeated, or a different method will be used to destroy the plantar wart.
Treatment Costs and Visits Required
There is no guaranteed treatment method available for the removal of warts. Even laser surgery which most dermatologists have available is not 100% effective.
The treatments may be time consuming and require multiple visits to the office. The treatment is often expensive. You will be charged each time you come into the office to have the warts treated.
There is no guarantee that even after multiple treatment sessions that the warts will be successfully removed. The treated areas may also develop new lesions, further complicating treatment.