“Hi, this is Dr. Silvester and I want to talk to you a little bit today about plantar warts. We see plantar warts all of the time in our office and they’re fairly painful and difficult to take care of and I want to help you out with those.
Plantar means on the bottom of the foot, so plantar, that’s the surface on the bottom of the foot, if you picture my hand as a foot, and a wart is a viral infection that causes a growth of the skin that’s about 4-5 times faster than normal skin.
They have a typical appearance. The have a cauliflower-head appearance, if you look at the foot and look at the lesion, you’ll see that the normal skin wrinkles are interrupted by a wart. The other thing you’ll notice is that if you pinch it from side to side, it’s quite painful. A lot of people mistake other lesions for warts. They’ll have just a deep enucleated callus and they’ll call it a wart – but if you shave it off, it’s very smooth and there’s no vegetative appearance to it, and it’s only tender with direct pressure – that’s a different entity.
How are plantar warts treated? I try to not hurt the patient very much, so what I like to do is use just topical acids, tape, and tincture of time. I’ve had really good luck with that – with certain acids that we have. We have one here in the office that we use quite frequently. It’s called “Verrustat”, that’s been very effective at helping our patients get rid of their warts, pretty much on their own. What we do is we give them the bottle, they take the tape, they put it on the wart, and they apply it every day and keep the wart covered. Then they come back in a 2-3 weeks and probably for half of the patients the wart is gone and they don’t have to undergo any invasive procedure to get rid of it.
Some of the patients do, and that’s unfortunate but generally warts can be easily taken care of with that combination of treatments. Sometimes they become more severe. There’s a thing called a “mosaic wart”, where you get not only the primary lesion but also a lot of satellite lesions. In those cases, that sometimes requires different therapies. We go all of the way up to using bleomycin, which is an anti-cancer medication to help treat warts. There are also other oral medications that you can use to raise the body’s own immune system to help fight the wart.
If you have a wart, you may want to give us a call here at the Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic and we can help you get rid of that. Thanks for listening.”