A foot wart, verruca or plantar wart is no different than a wart on any other part of the body. These warts eventually go away by themselves, but they are potentially contagious and could stay around for a couple years; treatment is usually recommended to decrease the length of pain, the duration of pain and to decrease the chance of transferring it to other parts of the body.
There are many available treatment methods without a clear winner, because even doing nothing after a little while will make the wart go away! Studies show that you can make them go away a little bit faster and some of the best treatments achieve 70-90% cure rates within a couple weeks. If you have a mosaic wart then the chemical treatment approaches are recommended.
– Duct Tape is my favorite method to try first!
This is a controversial treatment method, some scientific literature states that it works great and it can resolve the majority of warts over a couple weeks, but then other papers say it does not work at all. I say whats the harm in trying it! This method has always worked for me, and if it didn’t work in the future- you can always move on to the other treatments!
-Theoretically this should work, there will be some pain! Compare this to the duct tape method which is slower, safer and has no pain.
-This medication is known as a keratolytic agent which works by “loosening” the surface of the wart. Use this medication as directed by your pharmacist or your podiatrist.
2nd Line Therapy– All of these have shown to be effective, but it is unclear which is the best (which means none of them are clearly better than any other). Canthardin and Cryosurgery are the most commonly used in podiatrist offices.
–Canthardin– This is a more painful but more effective agent than salicylic avid. It causes a blister to form within a day or so of application to your blister.
-Cryosurgery- The wart is touched by a liquid nitrogen swab. This freezes the cells of the wart destroying the tissue and stimulating new tissue to come up behind it. This sounds a lot more intense then it really is!
–Immunotherapy– This is a fairly new treatment that involves injecting something (any dead foreign particles that are not dangerous) that irritate your immune system to attack this area. As a “coincidence” the immune system cells wipe out the HPV virus that is causing the wart.
3rd Line Therapy– The most common method is to cut the wart out and then use electricity to singe the underlying tissue under anesthesia.
– If the wart is extremely resistant consult a podiatrist about invasive treatment. These treatments are usually reserved for warts that have survived the first and second lines of treatment.
–Surgery– This can be done inside the office if the foot is not massive, but if it is a large mosaic wart- then the OR is usually necessary. The foot is numbed with anesthetic, then then the wart is simply cut out down to bleeding. The tissue is then heated to close it up; don’t worry, you won’t see whats happening! The wart can be considered as good as gone at this point and while there will be a scar, it should not be something that ever bothers you.
-Electrocautery– this is combined with surgery to burn the area where the wart used to be.
-Laser Surgery- It is a choice, but from what I have heard and seen it is more expensive than practical.