Foot warts, or plantar warts, affect most people at some point in their lives. Usually, they fade by themselves or with at-home care, but plantar warts can be a regular and complicated problem. At The Sunset Foot Clinic in Los Angeles, board-certified podiatrist Thomas Lim, DPM, treats plantar warts using medication and laser therapy. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone. The clinic has eight convenient locations throughout Silver Lake, Beverly Hills, Sherman Oaks, Northridge, La Palma, Whittier, Ontario, and Downey, California.
Plantar warts are growths on the soles of your feet, usually your heels, caused by viral skin infections.
Plantar warts are circular and flat, and usually the size of a thumbtack, though they can grow larger. The surface has a bumpy, cauliflower-like appearance, and they’re mostly the same color as the surrounding skin, except they contain little black dots, which are blood vessels.
The skin affected by a wart feels thicker and harder than normal, similar to a callus. For some people, warts are only a cosmetic problem. However, they can cause pain and discomfort, which becomes more likely the more pressure you put on them.
The virus that causes plantar warts is human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most common viral skin infection. It thrives in warm, damp, shared environments like locker rooms and swimming pools.
HPV enters your body through cuts or cracks in the skin. It only causes symptoms on the top layer of your skin.
Plantar warts are most likely to affect children, teenagers, and elderly people, but they can affect people of all ages. People with weakened immune systems, or who have had plantar warts before, are at increased risk of developing them.
Note that the kind of HPV that causes plantar warts is different from the sexually transmitted disease of the same name. Unlike the STD, there’s no vaccine to prevent plantar warts. It’s possible to spread the virus from person to person.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lim at The Sunset Foot Clinic if your warts are painful, have spread, or don’t improve with over-the-counter medication.
Dr. Lim can provide treatments including:
Prescription-strength wart medication contains a higher concentration of salicylic acid than what you can get over the counter. You apply the medication yourself at home and Dr. Lim regularly monitors your progress at follow-up appointments.
Dr. Lim uses a laser to heat and destroy wart tissue.
Cryotherapy involves freezing warts with liquid nitrogen.
These treatments work differently, but there’s a similar idea underlying each of them. They cause your warts to fall off gradually and stimulate your immune system to fight the wart. Because they work gradually, expect to come in for a series of laser or cryotherapy treatments.
To get treated for plantar warts at The Sunset Foot Clinic, call or use the online booking tool.