Plantar Warts: How Did I Get Them? And How Do I Get Rid Of Them?

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Plantar Warts: How Did I Get Them? And How Do I Get Rid Of Them?

Plantar warts, also known as verrucas, are a common skin condition that affects the soles of the feet. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and can be both unsightly and uncomfortable. Plantar warts can be identified by their location on the soles of the feet, rough texture, round shape, and are often accompanied by discomfort or pain, especially when pressure is applied. The presence of black dots and callus formation are also common indicators. Understanding how plantar warts are contracted and knowing effective treatment options can help you take the necessary steps to eliminate them. Here is how plantar warts are acquired and some insights into effective treatment methods.

Plantar Warts 101

How Did I Get Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are primarily caused by the HPV virus, specifically strains HPV-1, HPV-2, HPV-4, and HPV-63. These viruses thrive in warm, moist environments and can enter the skin through tiny cuts or abrasions. Here are some common ways in which plantar warts are contracted:

  • Direct Contact: The most common method of contracting plantar warts is through direct contact with an infected surface or person. This includes walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces such as locker room floors, swimming pool decks, and public showers. The virus can easily enter the skin through small openings, allowing it to take hold and develop into a wart.
  • Contaminated Objects: Sharing personal items like towels, socks, or shoes with someone who has plantar warts can increase the risk of transmission. The virus can survive on these objects and be transferred to the feet, especially if there are any existing cuts or abrasions.
  • Weakened Immune System: Individuals with a weakened immune system are more susceptible to developing plantar warts. Factors such as stress, illness, or certain medications can compromise the immune system's ability to fight off the HPV virus effectively.

How Do I Get Rid of Plantar Warts?

Dealing with plantar warts can be frustrating, but there are several effective treatment options available. It's important to note that treatment success varies depending on the individual and the severity of the warts. Here are some common methods used to eliminate plantar warts:

  1. Over-the-Counter Treatments: Non-prescription treatments containing salicylic acid are readily available and can be effective in removing plantar warts. These products work by softening the skin layers and gradually removing the wart. They usually come in the form of ointments, gels, or medicated pads. Follow the instructions carefully and be patient, as it may take several weeks to see results.
  2. Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy involves freezing the wart using liquid nitrogen. This freezing process destroys the wart tissue, prompting the body's immune response to remove it. Cryotherapy can be performed by a podiatrist. Multiple sessions may be required for more stubborn warts.
  3. Laser Therapy: In severe cases or when other treatments have failed, laser therapy may be recommended. This procedure utilizes focused laser beams to destroy the wart tissue. Laser therapy is typically performed under local anesthesia and may require a short recovery period.
  4. Surgical Removal: Surgical removal is usually reserved for large or persistent warts that do not respond to other treatments. It involves cutting out the wart tissue under local anesthesia. This option is considered when other treatments have failed or if the wart causes significant pain or discomfort.
  5. Immunotherapy: For particularly stubborn or recurring plantar warts, immunotherapy may be an option. This treatment involves injecting substances such as interferon or candida antigen directly into the wart. These substances stimulate the immune system's response to fight the virus and eliminate the wart.
  6. Microwave Therapy: This treatment involves one or two treatments sending a microwave pulse to the wart/virus which activates one’s own immune system to kill the virus permanently. We proudly offer SWIFT Microwave Therapy that is highly effective on children and adults, offers shorter treatments, high success rates and has been known to reduce pain in the infected area.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. To minimize the risk of contracting plantar warts, practice good foot hygiene, avoid walking barefoot in public areas, and refrain from sharing personal items with individuals who have plantar warts. Remember that maintaining a healthy immune system through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate rest can also contribute to reducing the likelihood of developing plantar warts.

Plantar Wart Treatment In NYC

Plantar warts can be acquired through direct contact with the HPV virus or contaminated surfaces. Understanding the causes of plantar warts and knowing the available treatment options are crucial in addressing this common foot condition. Whether you opt for over-the-counter treatments, cryotherapy, laser therapy, surgical removal, or immunotherapy, it's important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the most suitable approach for your specific situation. If you're currently dealing with plantar warts, don't despair. With the right knowledge and treatment plan, you can effectively treat plantar warts and get back to enjoying a healthy, active lifestyle.

The team of foot doctors at To Healthy Feet in Manhattan can expertly assess all types of foot pain and discomfort and develop a personalized treatment strategy based on the severity of your symptoms, your lifestyle, and your goals for treatment. We provide accurate diagnosis and comprehensive foot and ankle care and have the tools and technologies necessary to provide a variety of tailored treatment approaches including custom orthoticsregenerative medicine, conservative interventions, and even minimally invasive surgery (when needed) at each of our Manhattan Podiatry Clinics. If you are experiencing pain due to an ingrown toenail or any other foot or ankle condition pain, call To Healthy Feet Podiatry at 1-917-398-3668 or fill out the contact form to book your appointment at our Upper East Side, Times Square, Midtown Grand Central, or Downtown Manhattan locations today.


Q: Are any warts on the foot considered plantar warts?
A: No, not all warts on the foot are considered plantar warts. Plantar warts specifically refer to warts that develop on the weight-bearing areas of the soles or heels. Other types of warts, such as common warts or flat warts, can also occur on the foot but may appear on other areas such as the toes or tops of the feet. The distinction lies in the location and characteristics of the warts.

Q: How can I treat plantar warts at home?
A: Over-the-counter treatments containing salicylic acid can be used to gradually remove plantar warts. These treatments come in the form of ointments, gels, or medicated pads. It's important to carefully follow the instructions and be patient, as results may take several weeks to appear. If your wart persists despite at home treatment, contact your podiatrist at To Healthy Feet.

Q: When should I seek professional help for my plantar warts?
A: If over-the-counter treatments prove ineffective or if the plantar warts cause significant pain, discomfort, or interfere with daily activities, it is advisable to consult a podiatrist. They can provide appropriate diagnosis, guidance, and recommend suitable treatments such as cryotherapy, laser therapy, or surgical removal.

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