Warts and Painful Skin Conditions
Warts are caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV) which enters the skin through cracks or other breaks in the skin. When they occur on the foot, they are also known as verrucas. This virus is common in Singapore due to our warm and moist environment. It sits just below the skin causing pain and embarrassment. This condition occurs most frequently among children or those who are immune-suppressed. These can spread and patients often notice more than one lesion present on their foot.
Pain occurs when the callus over the wart becomes thick or the area experiences a lot of pressure. There may also be increased pain when the lesion is squeezed between your fingers.
Should I seek treatment?
The HPV strains that cause plantar warts are contagious but not virulently so. This means that the virus is less likely to be easily transmitted by direct contact from one person to another. However, due to Singapore’s warm and moist environment, the virus is more likely to survive and persist. As a result, you may contract the virus by walking barefoot around swimming pools, locker rooms, or even bathrooms at home. If the virus spreads from the first site of infection, more warts may appear or spread to others in your environment.
Each person’s immune system responds differently to HPV. Not everyone who comes in contact with it develops warts. Even people in the same family react to the virus differently. While most warts are harmless and benign, if it is causing you pain or if you live with members of the family who are children, elderly, or have compromised immune systems, you should seek treatment to protect these family members as they are at the greatest threat of transmission.
How can I remove plantar warts?
The lesion(s) will be assessed and determine by a podiatrist if you are suitable for sharp debridement, silver nitrate, cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen, needling, or for the lesion to be referred to/left alone.
Traditional methods for treating plantar warts removal 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.
It is not recommended to use off-the-shelf products for warts unless you have seen the podiatrist or doctor beforehand. These products often contain acid-based ingredients that burn the wart and the surrounding skin, they are not recommended especially for diabetics.
As conventional treatments for plantar warts can be painful and/or require multiple sessions, East Coast Podiatry has introduced a new high-efficacy treatment that promises minimal discomfort while minimising downtime for treatment. This treatment relies on activating the patient’s immune system to engage and destroy the virus responsible for the wart and encouraging natural healing.
To find out more, contact us to inquire about our new wart needling treatment protocol.
Frequently Ask Questions
Home remedies such as salicylic acid, apple cider vinegar, or duct tape are sometimes used to treat plantar warts. However, podiatrists recommend that these products be used very carefully as some rely on ‘burning’ the affected areas of the foot in order to kill the virus that causes these warts. This form of treatment is particularly risky for those with those with compromised immune systems as their bodies are less likely to fight off infections or heal wounds quickly. At our practice, we offer a treatment technique that is able to help the patient recover very quickly and with few applications.
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, merge, and form a mosaic wart.
While they can go away on their own, this is highly dependent on the individual’s condition, immune system and other factors. We have come across cases where patients have had warts for years or longer, or the problem recurs over time. To ensure proper removal and minimise the risk of recurrence, see a podiatrist about treatment options.
While plantar warts are also caused by the human papillovirus, the strains that cause plantar warts are different from those that are typically responsible for genital warts. That said, plantar warts can also be contagious and spread to other parts of your body such as your toes or fingers.
Scratching, cutting or pulling out a plantar wart may seem inviting, especially if it causes you pain or embarrassment. However, podiatrists highly recommend against doing so as this can often cause more complications than relief.