Plantar warts are painful and can keep you away from the sports you love. There are many home remedies for plantar warts, but stubborn warts don't always respond to treatments like duct tape, banana peels, and salicylic acid. If you've already tried these home remedies and are still stuck with your painful plantar wart, it's time for professional help. Here are three treatments for stubborn plantar warts.
Cryotherapy involves destroying warts by exposing them to below-freezing temperatures. This is generally done by exposing them to liquid nitrogen, a very cold liquid.
First, your podiatrist will use a small knife to remove the dead skin that is covering your wart. Once your wart has been exposed, liquid nitrogen will be applied to the wart with either a probe or a cotton swab. Since liquid nitrogen is very cold, this treatment is painful, but people don't usually need anesthesia. After your treatment, a blister will form on top of the wart; this blister will dry up and then the wart may fall off. If the wart doesn't fall off, you may need to have the treatment repeated multiple times to kill it.
While at-home cryotherapy kits are available, this treatment can be risky if it's not done properly, so it's best to let your doctor do it for you. If the liquid nitrogen comes into contact with the healthy skin around the wart, it can damage the skin and lead to scarring. The area can also become infected. Your doctor
Immune therapy involves giving a patient either medications or solutions to stimulate their immune response, allowing their body to fight off the virus responsible for the plantar wart. The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine can be used for this purpose, as can antigens like candida (yeast) or tuberculin (an extract of the tuberculosis bacteria). These substances are injected directly into your wart.
The presence of the substances alerts your immune system and draws immune cells to the area, where they will destroy the wart as well as the antigen that lured them there. Studies have shown that immune therapy is very effective. One study found that 91.4% of patients treated with the MMR vaccine either had their warts shrink or completely disappear. Injections of candida were reported to be effective in 67% of patients.
While having antigens injected into your wart may sound alarming, it is safe and only causes mild side effects like soreness or itching at the injection site.
If nothing else works, your podiatrist can surgically remove your stubborn warts. Surgery is a last-resort treatment, but when it's performed, it can cure as many as 90% of warts.
First, your podiatrist will give you a local anesthetic nerve block. You'll receive an injection of an anesthetic into the area around the nerve in your foot, which will numb the surgical area. Once your foot has been numbed, the procedure can begin. You'll be awake for this, so if you're squeamish, make sure to look away!
Your podiatrist will use a scalpel or a curette to cut around the border of the wart. The podiatrist will then cut beneath the wart to remove the entire wart in one piece. Once the wart has been removed, the resulting wound will be cauterized to stop the bleeding.
Surgery removes the entire plantar wart, but the wart can still recur. This is because surgery doesn't destroy the virus that causes the wart; the virus will still be present in your body and can lead to future warts. If the wart comes back, your podiatrist may need to repeat the surgery.
If you have a plantar wart that hasn't responded to home treatments, see a podiatrist for further treatment. Cryotherapy, immune therapy, and surgical removal can be used to get rid of stubborn plantar warts. For more information, contact a company like Elmhurst Podiatry Center Ltd.