Plantar Warts (Verruca Plantaris)
What Is A Plantar Wart?
A wart is a small growth on the skin that develops when the skin is infected by a virus. Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but they typically appear on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot. Plantar warts most commonly occur in children, adolescents and the elderly.
There are two types of plantar warts:
A solitary wart is a single wart. It often increases in size and may eventually multiply, forming additional satellite warts.
Mosaic warts are a cluster of several small warts growing closely together in one area. Mosaic warts are more difficult to treat than solitary warts.
Plantar warts are caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body.
The symptoms of a plantar wart may include:
Thickened skin. A plantar wart often resembles a callus because of its tough, thick tissue.
Pain. Walking and standing may be painful. Squeezing the sides of the wart may also cause pain.
Tiny black dots. These often appear on the surface of the wart. The dots are actually dried blood contained in the capillaries (tiny blood vessels). Plantar warts grow deep into the skin. Usually, this growth occurs slowly with the wart starting small and becoming larger over time.
Diagnosis & Treatment
To diagnose a plantar wart, the foot and ankle surgeon will examine the patient’s foot and look for signs and symptoms of a wart.
Although plantar warts may eventually clear up on their own, most patients desire faster relief. The goal of treatment is to completely remove the wart.
The foot and ankle surgeon may use topical or oral treatments, laser therapy, cryotherapy (freezing), acid treatments, or surgery to remove the wart.
Regardless of the treatment approaches undertaken, it is important that the patient follow the surgeon’s instructions, including all home care and medication that has been prescribed, as well as follow-up visits with the surgeon. Warts may return, requiring further treatment.
If there is no response to treatment, further diagnostic evaluation may be necessary. In such cases, the surgeon can perform a biopsy to rule out other potential causes for the growth.
Although many home remedies for warts exist, patients should be aware that these remain unproven and may be dangerous. Patients should never try to remove warts themselves. This can do more harm than good.
Laser Treatment for Removal of Plantar Warts
Doctor Pero has extensive training in the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of viral infections such as those that cause plantar warts. He is also well-trained in laser treatment for warts and other conditions, and is one of very few podiatry physicians and surgeons in Palm Beach County who is trained in the use of multiple types of laser devices for medical, surgical, aesthetic, and cosmetic procedures.
Doctor Pero uses two types of lasers in the office and in the outpatient ambulatory surgery setting. He uses a YAG 1064nm laser in his Jupiter Integrative Foot & Ankle office and a CO2 laser in the outpatient Palm Beach Gardens Regional Surgery Center for minimally-invasive removal of warts.