Warts (Plantar Warts)
Warts are caused by a virus and run in the epidermis of the skin. They have a high rate of recurrence, and can multiply if left untreated. When found under the foot, they are known as "Plantar Warts" - plantar - simply meaning "undersurface" of the foot. Plantar warts have a spongy appearance with black, brown or red spots. They are often mistaken for corns or calluses.
There are many ways to treat these benign lesions. There is no best way, and there is no quick way. The following are common treatments for the problem.
Prescription chemicals are used topically to destroy the wart. Often this is the first line of treatment. The chemical is applied in the office in a series of treatments, or in some cases the patient may apply the medicine at home. In any case, the patient needs to follow up weekly to have the wart "trimmed" down.
This can be done in the office under local anesthesia, or as an outpatient at a hospital or surgery center. The area is numbed, and a special instrument called a curette is used to excise the wart. The base is then cauterized to discourage re-growth.
CO2 Laser: This laser is used surgically by vaporizing the wart cells. Postoperatively, bleeding, pain, and scarring are less likely than simple excision with a curette. This procedure is performed with a local anesthetic, and weight bearing is usually allowed immediately.
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