Plantar warts are one of the most commonly seen condition at East Coast Podiatry Centre. It is also commonly assumed to be corns on the feet. However, they are lesions which are caused by a virus known as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This is the same virus that cause genital warts.
This virus can be easily contracted through tiny cuts or abrasion in the feet and it buries itself in the skin as pressure from weight bearing on the feet will push it in deeper until it forms a thick layer of skin. It is incredibly infectious and it can develop rapidly and spread to other places in the body.
Treatment should be carried out immediately to arrest and resolve this problem or it will be difficult to treat once it has grown too big.
Diagnosing a wart requires a series of assessments. Multiple black dots within the lesion are identified under a thick layer of skin. Pain upon weight-bearing can be incredibly severe, even more so when lateral pressure or “pinching” is applied to the affected area(s). Plantar warts are quite common to be seen, especially in a hot and humid country like Singapore.
Different modalities are used depending on the severity of the condition.
In Orchard Clinic, we will assess your plantar wart and determine the treatment you need. Normally, a debridement is done to remove as much wart tissues as possible. After which, cryotherapy in the form of liquid nitrogen is sprayed over the wart to freeze it. Finally, silver nitrate is used to cover the wart. Silver nitrate is a caustic chemical which helps to aid the removal of the plantar warts.
The number of treatment sessions vary from patient to patient. Really resistant warts may require multiple sessions before they can be fully resolved.
Over-the-counter medication are often more detrimental if they are used incorrectly and may worsen the problem. Many people use corn plasters thinking that they are corns but this will make the skin soft and macerated, which will worsen the wart infection.
We carry out all wart treatment in a clean environment for infection control. We also use the necessary equipment to treat the warts and all of our equipment are cleaned and sterilised before use.
Author: Podiatrist Benedict KHOO
Editor: Podiatrist Emily MAH