Plantar warts may not be the most medically serious condition you could contract. But one thing is for sure: they are extremely frustrating.
In addition to producing unsightly skin growths, foot warts can be uncomfortable or painful, can easily multiply and spread (to other areas of your body, or even to your housemates), and may take months or even years to go away on their own.
If you do develop what looks like warts on your feet, it’s best you get them checked out and treated before they have a chance to replicate. And fortunately, we have a great new treatment available that can get results much more safely, comfortably, and conveniently than ever before!
More on that later. First, let’s talk about the warts themselves.
Plantar Wart Treatment Options
There are, broadly speaking, two categories of treatment approaches to warts—immunotherapy or destruction.
Destruction has tended to be the far more common approach among podiatrists, pediatricians, and other physicians in the past (and even currently). This includes various methods of attacking and removing the wart from the outside in, including:
- Salicylic acid—destroying the wart with acid
- Cryotherapy—freezing the wart off, usually with liquid nitrogen
- Laser—burning the wart off with thermal energy
- Surgery—cutting the wart out
Although these options can work, there are many disadvantages and downsides common to most destructive forms of plantar wart treatment.
- All can cause mild-to-moderate pain either during or after the procedure (or both)
- All except surgery can require several treatments (anywhere from 2-3 to 10 or more) to fully work.
- None of them address the root causes of warts (i.e. HPV infection), so the recurrence rate is fairly high.
Rather than focusing on dealing with the symptom (the lesion in the skin) (via cutting it out of burning it off), immunotherapy treatments target the cause. These treatments seek to stimulate the body’s natural immune response and direct it where it needs to go. Once the virus has been eliminated, the wart disappears.
The best and most effective treatment of this type is one that is quickly gaining prominence across the U.S., and which we’re very glad to be able to offer our patients at Lakes Foot & Ankle: Swift Microwave Therapy.
What is Swift? This is a revolutionary therapy that uses a short burst of (completely safe!) microwaves to heat up water molecules in the upper layers of skin. This alerts the attention of the immune system, which arrives to eradicate the HPV infection naturally.
Here’s the short version of what you can expect:
- You come to our office.
- We’ll lightly debride the wart (this doesn’t hurt) and then apply the microwave therapy.
- The actual application of microwaves lasts only 2 seconds per pulse and most warts get 5 pulses with a short pause between each pulse. Many people experience no pain at all, while a few experience a “fast, hot sensation” that might be slightly uncomfortable. Either way, the sensation is gone almost immediately after the microwaves stop.
- You walk out the door. The whole process can take as little as 5-10 minutes, and there’s NO aftercare necessary.
Typically, about 3-4 treatments spaced out over as many months are all that’s necessary to get rid of your warts for good. No anesthesia, no drugs, and no home care are needed, and there’s no post-procedure pain.
Oh, and because you’re treating the cause and not the symptom, the wart is much less likely to spring back up once it’s gone.
For a more in-depth look at Swift, check out our full service page on the technology.
And if you’re already convinced? Give our office a call at (248) 360-3888. We’d be happy to help you get rid of your plantar warts for good.