Foot health

04 December 2008

What are plantar warts and how can I get rid of them?

Plantar warts are hard, tough, horny growths that appear on the plantar surface (sole) of the foot.

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Plantar warts are hard, tough, horny growths that appear on the plantar surface (sole) of the foot. Normal standing and walking tends to press these lesions into the skin, flattening them and causing pain.

Early treatment, which achieves faster results with fewer recurrences, is preferable. One should not attempt to remove the wart at home, but should rather seek treatment by a doctor or a podiatrist. A salicylic acid-soaked tape can be placed over the wart for several days.

Subsequently, while the wart is still damp and soft the doctor can remove it. Plantar warts can also be treated more effectively with cryotherapy, but this may require frequent attempts if the wart is quite large or resistant. The procedure is very painful, but achieves good results. In very large warts surgical removal under local or general anaesthetic may be indicated, but only as a last resort.

South African Podiatry Association (SAPA)

 

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