Plantar Wart Treatment Options

 Patients should not begin self-treatment without first seeing a trained foot specialist because other types of skin disorders can mimic a wart.  Once the proper diagnosis is given, patients are typically instructed in self-treatment, unless the wart is large. Over-the-counter preparations containing weak acid and/or a drying agent can be applied on a daily basis for several weeks.  In warts that do not respond to this, or with very large warts, the specialist may apply a much stronger chemical or remove the wart surgically. 

Patients with diabetes or poor circulation should not use over-the-counter preparations without proper professional instruction and extra supervision.  Also, never use these agents in the presence of an infection.

Once the wart(s) are gone, treatment is not over.  Patients must employ measures to ensure that the warts do not reappear.  Warts thrive in dark, moist, hot areas.  As such, excessive perspiration must be controlled and sweaty socks should be changed.  Also, patients should not walk barefoot in communal places such as locker rooms and bathing facilities.

Most warts are usually self-limiting and resolve in 8 weeks to 2 years without treatment.  However, a clinical exam is recommended in all cases to rule out a more serious problem.  If the wart is painful, patients can obtain a cushioned inner sole prior to being seen.

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