East Coast Podiatry
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Last Updated: 16 Sep 2021

Verrucae / Plantar Warts – Treatment Solutions in Singapore

What Are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts (also known as verrucas) are skin growths that occur on the feet or surrounding areas. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), that has entered the skin through cracks or other breaks in the skin.

Pain occurs when the callus over the wart thickens or when the area experiences a lot of pressure, such as when it is squeezed between fingers. Neglect or acid-based home remedies may worsen the pain and discomfort due to the build-up of pus.

Should I Seek Treatment For Plantar Warts?

Yes. Since warts are viral in nature, they can spread quickly in the body, and patients with one wart may soon notice multiple lesions present on their feet. However, it is not as easily transmitted through direct contact from person to person since each individual’s immune system responds differently to HPV.

While most warts are harmless, seek prompt treatment if it is causing pain or if you live with children, the elderly, or those who are immune-compromised as they are at the greatest risk of transmission.

Podiatrist Benedict Khoo doing Treatment

How Can I Remove Plantar Warts?

Your podiatrist will assess the lesion(s) to determine the suitable mode of treatment, such as:

  • Cryotherapy – A freezing agent like liquid nitrogen is applied to the wart over multiple sessions. Your podiatrist might numb the area first as this procedure can be painful.
  • Wart needling – Wart needling involves the repeated pricking of the wart with a hollow needle. This activates the patient’s immune system to engage and destroy the virus responsible for the wart and encourages organic healing with minimal discomfort and downtime.

As traditional methods for treating plantar warts can cause discomfort, it is recommended to wear a comfortable pair of shoes to the clinic and allow a few hours of rest after treatment.

Elliot needling wart in clinic treatment surgery procedure

Frequently Asked Questions

Home remedies such as salicylic acid, apple cider vinegar, or duct tape are sometimes used to treat plantar warts. It is not recommended to use off-the-shelf products for warts unless you have been advised by a podiatrist or doctor beforehand. These products often contain acid-based ingredients that burn the wart and the surrounding skin, which can be particularly risky for those with compromised immune systems. Patients with diabetes may not be able to fight off infections or naturally heal wounds quickly, and those with neuropathy could unknowingly worsen their wounds due to the lack of sensation.

Depending on the location, untreated plantar warts can cause pain and may spread to other parts of your skin or even those living in the same household. Over time, they may fuse to form a mosaic wart, which is harder to treat.

In many cases and depending on the individual’s condition and immune system, minor plantar warts can resolve on their own. However, severe or mosaic plantar warts can cause prolonged pain and spread to other parts of the body or other people. To ensure that the proper treatment is administered and future recurrence is minimised, see a podiatrist in your area.

No, they are not. There are over 100 different strains of human papillomavirus, and the ones that cause plantar warts are different from those that are typically responsible for genital warts. However, plantar warts are contagious and can spread to other parts of your body, such as your toes or fingers.

Scratching, cutting, or pulling out a plantar wart may seem inviting. However, amateur surgery may not successfully remove the core of the wart, leading to a high likelihood of recurrence or serious infection.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) thrives in Singapore’s warm and moist environment, and can be found in common places like swimming pools, locker rooms, or even bathrooms at home. Another key way of transmission is through exposure. Children and teens are much more likely to contract warts as opposed to their adult counterparts, and can go on to spread the virus to their family members or close contacts.

Several methods to prevent plantar warts include:

  • Changing your shoes and socks regularly
  • Avoiding barefoot walking around swimming pools and locker rooms
  • Limiting interaction with family members that have warts
  • Washing hands thoroughly after touching warts, including your own

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