Warts are the growths that typically pop up on the hands and feet — but don’t worry, they’re not cancerous. Warts are extremely common, affecting a full 10% of the world’s population. They’re also quite prevalent in children, emerging on 10-20% of them.
The highly skilled team at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers has one priority: getting you back in tip-top shape, whatever your foot or ankle concern is. They adopt innovative treatments and carefully assess your symptoms to arrive at an accurate diagnosis, followed by a customized treatment plan.
Warts: The facts
Although most warts aren’t serious, they make you feel self-conscious, and people often go to great lengths to hide them. They’re also a nuisance because they can take — not weeks or months — but a couple of years to go away without treatment.
Beyond common warts, another type of wart often emerges on the feet: plantar warts. They appear most often on the area of your sole that bears your weight.
An unusual feature about plantar warts is that because they have a good amount of pressure put on them regularly, this pressure causes a callus to form, and your wart actually grows into your foot, rather than appearing as a protrusion.
While you don’t have the appearance worries with plantar warts that you do with much more visible common warts, they do cause pain and tenderness that can impair your mobility.
Who’s at risk for warts?
In essence, warts are a type of viral infection.
Anyone who is immunocompromised, such as an individual going through chemotherapy, is at a higher risk for developing warts. Additionally, if you sustain a slight cut in your skin, certain types of wart-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) can invade.
Warts love heat and humidity, so pool areas and locker rooms are ideal breeding grounds for them.
When is a wart worrisome enough to warrant treatment?
Rather than waiting for warts to go away on their own, you may be eager to get rid of them as soon as possible, especially if you develop clusters of warts or they’re located in a prominent place.
You should also visit us if you have a wart that bleeds or impairs your ability to live your normal life. An example of this would be discomfort so great, such as from a plantar wart, that you’re hobbling rather than walking comfortably.
Finally, you’re going to want to seek treatment for a wart if you have somehow cut or picked it, and it tends to bleed. This can put you at risk for infection. If you notice any signs of infection, such as redness or pus, make an appointment to see us promptly.
What treatments work for warts?
You can buy over-the-counter treatments that contain salicylic acid. These products dissolve the layers of your wart, but it can take a few months for daily treatment to make your wart disappear.
When you come to see your South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers provider, we offer effective treatment that doesn’t take long to have you wart-free.
They may take a small sample from your wart to be certain that your skin growth is indeed a wart, and they visually examine it closely, looking for any troubling signs, such as clotted blood vessels.
The two treatments we offer are cryotherapy, where we employ a freezing agent to remove your wart, or a minor laser surgical procedure. Your podiatrist typically recommends the laser wart removal method for plantar warts, when other treatments have been unsuccessful.
The treatment works because the strong light from the laser actually burns your tissue, causing the wart to fall off within a week after the treatment. After this, your skin heals without leaving any scarring.
We ensure your comfort before, during, and after your treatment. Prior to the procedure, we give you a local anesthetic; afterward, we help you manage post-treatment discomfort.
Don’t endure embarrassment or pain caused by warts any longer. Call the South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers office most convenient to you and schedule an appointment. You may also book one online. For your convenience, we offer early morning, evening, and Saturday appointments.