Warts can be an annoying and often embarrassing problem, affecting people of all ages. They can be especially pesky when they develop on your feet, making moving and walking sometimes uncomfortable.
Caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), warts can be stubborn to treat. Thankfully, our team of podiatry surgeons at the Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery in Burbank, Santa Clarita, and Northridge, California, has a wealth of experience in helping you get wart-free feet.
Here we break down the types of warts, treatment options, and prevention tips to help you regain confidence and comfort.
What are warts?
Warts are small, rough, and sometimes painful growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are very contagious and can spread through direct contact or from surfaces where the virus is present.
There are several types of warts, including:
- Common warts: These typically appear on the fingers, hands, and knees as rough, raised bumps.
- Plantar warts: Located on the soles of the feet, they grow inward due to pressure from walking and standing, making them particularly painful.
- Flat warts: These smaller, smoother warts often appear in clusters on the face, arms, or legs.
People of all ages, gender, and races can develop warts.
Treating a wart at home
For some people, warts may disappear independently, but for others, they can take months or even years.
If you want to treat your wart at home, apply over-the-counter wart removal products containing salicylic acid to help break down the thick skin and eventually remove the wart.
Remember that at-home treatments may only work for some. You should consult with one of our podiatrists before starting any treatment, especially if you have underlying health conditions or your warts are especially painful or persistent.
How do we treat warts?
When at-home treatments are ineffective, or your warts are causing significant discomfort, it’s time to consult with us. We offer several professional treatment options, including:
If you’ve tried over-the-counter treatments that turned out ineffective, we may recommend prescription-strength salicylic acid for more effective wart removal.
Cryotherapy treatments involve using liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart, causing it to fall off. This method is more potent and safer than at-home freezing treatments.
We may use laser therapy to target and destroy the blood vessels feeding the wart, causing it to die and eventually fall off.
How to prevent warts
Preventing warts is crucial to maintaining smooth, healthy skin on your feet. If you know someone with a wart, avoid touching their wart or sharing personal items like towels or shoes. Other helpful preventive tips include:
- Wash your feet regularly and ensure they are thoroughly dry before putting on socks or shoes.
- Always wear shoes or sandals in public spaces like gyms, swimming pools, and locker rooms.
- Wear fresh socks each day to reduce your risk of developing warts.
- Avoid picking or scratching at a wart to prevent the virus from spreading to other areas of your skin or other people.
Warts can be persistent and aggravating, but with the proper treatment, you can effectively remove them and prevent them from returning.
Don’t hesitate to consult us if your warts are causing significant discomfort or if at-home treatments aren’t producing the desired results. You can book an appointment with us online today or call 818-848-5588.