Plantar Wart Treatment in Melbourne

What are Plantar Warts?


A wart is a skin condition that is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

It can affect a number of parts of the body, and one of the more common sites it affects is the underside of the foot.

While the condition is fairly straightforward to diagnose, it can be quite a task to treat.

In this article, we shall talk a bit about what plantar warts look like and how they can be managed by a podiatrist.

 

How do you get Plantar Warts?


As has been mentioned above, plantar warts are caused by the human Papilloma virus.

Transmission of the virus is usually through direct contact or indirect contact.

Most commonly people report noticing a wart has developed after using a public swimming pool or bathing area.

The virus is able to survive for short periods of time when the conditions are appropriate.

Warts can be contracted when coming into contact with a surface where another wart has been previously.

For example from other family members where you are both walking around barefoot on the same surfaces.

 

What do Plantar Warts look like?


Typically, plantar warts appear in the form of multiple tiny skin papules which are rough to the touch.

These can then join together and form a ‘mosaic plaque’.

As a result, the normal appearance of the skin and the arrangement of the skin lines are distorted.

On occasion, plantar warts may appear dark in colour and can be quite painful.

They often take on a “cauliflower” appearance with and uneven, bubbly surface.

When any overlying callus is removed from a plantar wart, you may notice the presence of tiny black spots which represent blocked capillaries.

This appearance helps differentiate it from corns.

 

How to remove Plantar Warts and different Plantar Warts Treatment


The treatment of plantar warts is difficult...

...Podiatrists are aware of the different modalities of treatment and are able to offer a combination of these in order to help the patient:

  1. Salicylic acid

    This is considered the first-line treatment for managing plantar warts and is available in a variety of different strengths. The milder options are available over-the-counter, however, for stronger forms of the acid, you will need to see your Podiatrist or doctor. This form of treatment can take a while and may or may not be successful.
     
  2. Cryotherapy

    This involves the application of liquid nitrogen onto the wart. These days basic cryotherapy packages are available over-the-counter though in most cases this procedure is performed by a podiatrist. It involves freezing the wart to very low subzero temperatures (-196°C) with liquid nitrogen. This turns the plantar wart into a blister which eventually falls off. While this treatment can be effective, unfortunately, it can be a bit painful. Again the wart may require multiple treatments to effectively ‘freeze’ the wart.
     
  3. Cantharidin

    This is a topical application which is available upon prescription. When applied to the surface of the plantar wart, it converts it into a blister which eventually heals in a couple weeks. However, the blister can be quite painful and in most cases, repeat treatment is required.
     
  4. Immunotherapy

    This involves application of a cream, that contains drugs that can alter the immune response to warts. Treatments are still being researched but have so far been shown to be reasonably effective. The most common form of this is called Thuja, which is available through a naturopath.
     
  5. Alternative options

    Whilst these methods are not supported by research, there are many people who claim ( despite little medical evidence existing) these treatments have helped to resolve their warts:

    Banana skin – it is believed the gas released from Banana skin as it decomposes irritates the wart and helps to trigger an immune response. It involves taping a small piece of banana skin over the wart for a period of 24hrs. There is currently no scientific evidence to support this theory.

    Duct tape – this method of treatment relies on occlusion. It is thought by keeping the wart constantly covered with a small disc of duct tape prevents air supply to the wart, causing it to die. This is also sometimes used in conjunction with other treatment modalities. There is currently no scientific evidence to support this theory.

 

Further Resources for Plantar Warts:

 

Conclusion on Plantar Warts


Plantar warts can be very frustrating to treat.

Podiatrists are aware of a number of different methods that they can use in order to treat this condition.

Unfortunately, recurrence is common and may require repeat treatments.

If you would like plantar warts treatment in Melbourne, please call (03) 9939 3339 to arrange an appointment at time that suits you!


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Dr Leah WatersWritten by Leah Waters

Leah Waters is a Melbourne Podiatrist and founder of Pivotal Podiatry Clinic. A Melbourne based Podiatry Clinic.

You can find Leah on
Google+ and Facebook. Make an appointment call (03) 9939 3339.