Plantar Warts

Warts on the feet, also known as plantar warts, are a very common—and very frustrating—nuisance.

At the bare minimum, warts tend to be ugly, unsightly, and embarrassing. But when they appear on spots where they’re exposed to pressure and friction, they can also be painful.

Even worse, warts can easily spread from place to place on your body, or in some cases even people you live with. If you don’t treat them, it may take years for them to go away on their own. And unfortunately, most traditional wart remedies produce inconsistent results at best.

But now, there’s a much faster and better solution: Swift Treatment.

First, let’s talk about the warts themselves.

What Are Warts and How Did I Get Them?

Warts are tiny raised bumps or growths that appear on your skin, most commonly around the toes, feet, and hands. They usually have a rough or grainy appearance, and if you look closely you may notice one or more dark “dots” within the wart. (These are clotted blood vessels.)

Warts are caused when one or more strands of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, infect the upper layers of skin. The virus can get in through small cuts, cracks, or gaps—sometimes so small that you can’t even see or feel them.

When warts are located in a bad spot—like the bottoms of your feet—they can be quite uncomfortable as your weight squishes them into the surrounding tissues. Sharp, burning pain or tenderness is not uncommon.

HPV tends to be more prevalent in warm and moist conditions. Putting on a sweaty pair of shoes, or walking barefoot in damp and/or public spaces will increase your risk of exposure. Having a relatively weak immune system (whether because of a medical condition or age—young or old) also increases your risk.

Can I Treat My Plantar Warts at Home?

You may have noticed “wart removal kits” available over the counter at the pharmacy, or even heard stories about how a relative dealt with their problem using duct tape or some other DIY method.

In general, we don’t recommend these methods. Most of them are fairly harmless, but the evidence suggests they aren’t really very effective, either. And there’s a chance you might actually damage healthy skin if you use an over-the-counter freeze spray or peeling medicine.

If you aren’t really bothered by your warts and they aren’t causing you pain, you might feel up for trying an OTC option first. But if your warts are bothering you, your best choice will always be seeking professional care as soon as possible, before they have a chance to spread.

Swift Treatment to Eliminate Warts

As we said, one of the major frustrations people have with warts (aside from unsightliness and discomfort) is that, until recently, they have been relatively difficult to treat. Warts take months to years to go away on their own, and conventional treatments (cryotherapy, peeling medication, surgery, etc.) also tend to have a lot of drawbacks.

But at Family Foot Care & Surgery, we now have a much better option available: Swift Microwave Therapy. Compared to previous procedures, it is consistently faster, safer, easier, and more effective.

How Does It Work?

Rather than “attacking” the wart by cutting it out or exposing it to harsh chemicals or temperatures (which often causes collateral damage to healthy surrounding skin), Swift works by activating your body’s own immune system to eliminate the wart naturally.

The FDA-approved, clinically tested Swift device delivers low-powered microwave energy to the top layers of the skin where the wart resides. This generates a small amount of heat and friction within the skin, which in turn draws in proteins and gets the attention of your immune system.

That’s important, because under normal circumstances your immune system tends to ignore the upper layers of skin—which is why warts take so long to go away on their own otherwise!

Essentially, Swift Microwave Therapy acts like a homing beacon for your immune system, so your body can quickly locate and deal with the problem using natural processes.

What Can I Expect?

The full treatment course usually consists of 3-4 very brief appointments with our office, spread over the course of about a month.

The actual application of the microwave therapy only takes about 3 seconds, and the sensation is similar to getting an injection. That is to say, it might sting for a second or two, but after that the discomfort should be gone entirely. Almost everybody tolerates this well, including children.

We’ll lightly debride the wart before applying the microwave therapy, but we’ll never have to break the skin, apply harsh medications, or anything of the sort. No bandages are necessary, and you can go home and go about your day as normal immediately afterward.

Even better, there’s nothing you have to do at home between treatment sessions. Your immune system will do the work for you, and there’s no external damage to deal with.

Wart Prevention Tips

If you want to reduce the risk of your warts spreading to other areas of your body, or keep them from coming back after you’ve already treated them, keep these strategies in mind:

  • Don’t touch or pick at your warts. If you do touch one, wash your hands thoroughly immediately afterward.
  • Don’t keep wearing socks and shoes that have become dirty or damp. Rotate shoes so that they dry out before you wear them again.
  • Don’t walk barefoot in public spots, especially places like gyms, locker rooms, or pools.
  • Don’t share skin and nail care tools, and don’t use the same tool for both warts and healthy skin.

Time to Get Rid of Those Pesky Warts!

We truly feel that this cutting-edge technology is the definitive treatment available for plantar warts, as it has extremely high success rates without any of the downsides, drawbacks, and potential side effects of other forms of treatment.

If you’re interested in getting rid of your warts, and seeing if you might be a candidate for this exciting new treatment option, please call Family Foot Care & Surgery today at 203-876-7736.