WARTS | PLANTAR WARTS | VERRUCA PEDIS
Warts (Verruca Pedis) can appear in different sizes, shapes and locations. Warts are an infection of the skin caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are many different strands of the HPV virus. I do not like to use the term Plantars Warts because warts do not have to appear on the bottom of the foot. (Although this is the most common location, it is not the only location). For any infection there needs to be three components: Infectious agent (Virus), susceptible host (patient), portal of entry (eg: open sore). Often we pick up the HPV virus from communal bathing places – eg: public pools, showers or places where we go bare foot. Warts can have a cauliflower like appearance, can have black dots located in the centre and may be tender to walk on or pinch. Not everyone who comes in contact with the virus will present with a wart. However, those with decreased immunity are more susceptible to warts.
Warts on the foot can be extremely difficult to treat (specially if they have been there fore a while), this is believed to be due to the fact that we have an extra layer of skin on the soles of our feet (Stratum Lucidium). Often overlying Callus (hyperkeratosis) also forms. This overlying callus causes more pain and may make the host more susceptible to the virus. Treatment may take weeks or months to complete.
At Waterloo Foot Clinic we may accompany treatment with an application of prescription medication, salicylic acid, injection with medication, needling, freezing, surgical excision or laser treatment. Each treatment plan will be tailored specifically to each patient.
Laser Wart treatment includes the non-selective destruction of the epidermis, cauterizing tiny blood cells resulting in the absence of blood flow to the effected tissue. Eventually the effected tissue without blood will fall off. This can usually be achieved in a single to very few treatments making it one of the quickest and most efficient treatment against plantar warts.
Without treatment, you may be surprised to learn that some warts can simply go away. However, it is more common to see the wart become increasingly painful, spread to surrounding tissue or appear to grow. When warts are left untreated, it can hinder our ability to walk or run due to the influx of pain during weight bearing (standing).