A few things in life grow stubbornly, like weeds. Weeds pop up in your garden and landscaping around your home. Once they’re there, it can take a lot of work to root them all out. Many of them reappear later, too. Warts are a bit like weeds on your feet. They easily spread and multiply. Once you have them, wart removal can be challenging, too—and the growths can reappear if you aren’t careful. Removing warts may be tough, but it is possible to do so successfully, especially if you begin treatment right away.
Why Warts Are Tough
Warts are bumps caused by a virus under the skin. They are not dangerous, but they are unsightly and can be quite uncomfortable, especially when they are on your feet. Plantar warts on your soles can make walking particularly uncomfortable. The growths are contagious, too, so they can easily spread to other parts of your feet, your hands, and your family. Because they are caused by a virus, you won’t develop an immunity to the problem, either—which means you can be re-infected after you’ve eliminated them if you aren’t careful.
Eventually, your body does fight off the wart virus. This takes quite some time, however, and most people don’t want to live with the discomfort or the unsightly bumps until then. Wart treatments work on eliminating both the growth and the virus that caused it, so the bump doesn’t return. If the remedy only treats the bump, you’ll soon find another wart in the exact same place.
There are many different methods of wart removal. Some are more effective than others. Many people swear by home remedies like covering the growth with duct tape, soaking the foot in vinegar, or using other natural, topical treatments. These methods are not consistent, however, and research hasn’t shown them to be an effective option.
There are some over-the-counter remedies you can try. Mild salicylic acid breaks down the wart and peels it away a few layers at a time. You can get bandages with the acid in them to cover up the growth. You can also get some freezing treatments over the counter. These use concentrated cold air to kill the surface of the wart so it can be scraped away.
Larger, more stubborn growths are going to need invested medical treatment. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC, will make sure the bump is actually a wart, then start stronger medical treatments. Prescription-strength acid can be carefully applied to the wart to peel away the infected skin and take the virus with it. Liquid nitrogen is a more effective way of freezing the bump and destroying the infection, though it may still take several treatments. Immunotherapy uses injections to stimulate your body’s immune system to fight the wart more quickly. Some lasers might even be able to burn away the growth.
Trying Removal Procedures
When all else fails, the fastest way of removing warts is simply to excise them. Our team will consider this option if conservative methods haven’t been successful for you. The procedures themselves are quick and simple, though there are several different methods. The most common method is to numb the foot and carefully excise the growth with a scalpel. Another option is to burn the wart before removing it.
The keys to wart removal success are dealing with the problem right away and being consistent in your treatment. You also should take steps to protect your feet in areas where you have a high risk of being exposed to the virus again. Let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC, help you successfully eliminate your warty growths. Contact us with our online form or call for more information.