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Plantar Warts

Plantar warts appear on the bottom of the foot or toes. They tend to be flat and hard and can be quite painful. Plantar warts are often mistaken for corns or calluses, however, warts are caused by a virus (HPV). If you look closely at a wart, you may see tiny black dots. Warts are not to be mistaken with corns/callus which is thickened skin.

plantar warts


Warts are often contracted in warm, moist environments, such as pools and locker rooms. Warts are contagious. You can contract warts by going barefoot in public places such as pools, gyms, and can spread them at home. In some instances, they spontaneously go away, and sometimes it can take years. Warts can also spontaneously come back. If left untreated, they can spread or form clusters.


InStep offers a variety of treatment options for plantar wart(s) removal. We will recommend a treatment option best for you depending on the size, amount, and placement of warts, your pain tolerance, and your schedule. Here are the treatment options available at InStep Foot Clinic from conservative to very aggressive. Most of our patients elect in-office acid application, as the acids we use are significantly stronger than over-the-counter medication and more effective than freezing. Generally, the more aggressive the treatment, the shorter or fewer visits will be required. Your treatment plan will be determined during your initial visit with the chiropodist. Here is an overview of treatment options. 


1. At-Home Acid Application


  • Patient applies mild prescription medication twice daily at home.

  • Skin is debrided once every 2-3 weeks in office until wart has been resolved.


2. In-Office Acid Application


  • Skin is debrided around wart and varying strengths of acid is applied in-clinic.

  • Can be uncomfortable depending on strength of acid applied.

  • Weekly or bi-weekly applications in clinic until wart is completely removed.

  • No home care required.


3. Needling


  • Involves local anesthetic, and "needling" the affected area with a syringe in the clinic. Body naturally builds and resists immunity to wart virus.

  • One-time procedure.

  • 2-3 Follow-up visits.

  • No home care required. 

  • If successful, may prevent future recurrence.


4. Curretage


  • Soft tissue surgical procedure involves local anesthetic, and cutting out of the affected area in one visit.

  • 1-2 follow-up visits or until completely healed.

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