A plantar wart surgery might become a necessity, if the wart remains untreated for a long time. This article provides information on this surgery.
A wart is a small, rough growth that appears like a solid blister. There are different types of warts such as flat warts, genital warts, mosaic warts, and plantar warts, etc., that occur due to various reasons. The plantar wart is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), that can infect the stratified epithelium of the skin or mucous membranes. These warts could also appear on the soles or the plantar area. The medical term for this growth in plantar area is Verruca plantaris, and it could appear on the underside of the foot or the toes. This viral skin infection is highly contagious and the virus can grow under conducive conditions up to 20 months, before the warts actually appear. It also disappears easily with treatment, but can recur if not treated properly. Plantar warts appear on foot and while walking, they are pushed inside, which is why they grow inward. Generally, these are harmless growths caused by a virus, but in some cases, these can be tender and painful. In such situations, surgery can prove beneficial.
Causes and Treatment Options
The virus can spread through sharing of towels, handkerchiefs, bed sheets, shoes, sandals, and socks, etc., with an infected person. HPV generally grows in damp and humid places, so if you walk barefoot in such places, you are most likely to contract the virus. The virus can easily enter the inner layer of the foot skin, through small openings and tiny cuts on the feet. These warts do not affect everyone, and the reason for this has still not been discovered. Dry and cracked feet and a weak immune system increase the chances of getting infected with HPV, and can be considered as some of the prime causes.
This HPV-induced infection can be treated at home with certain home remedies or by using anti-wart creams. Salicylic acid is one of the anti-wart drugs that is available over the counter. All you have to do is apply the cream on the infected area and remove the dead skin. Duct tape wart removal is also useful, in which the duct tape is applied on the affected area for a few weeks. The tightly wrapped tape limits the virus from spreading any further, curbing the advancement of infection. Apart from this, there are many natural remedies such as aloe vera, herbal oils and herbal pastes made from various medicated herbs. When the home remedies and other treatment options do not work, resorting to surgery should be the next course of action.
The surgery generally gives better results than home remedies. The surgery also takes less time and is very effective. Among all the solutions, surgery is the most effective, as it removes the ailment at times completely. However, the cost of the surgery is high. The cost depends on which surgical method you choose. The type, location, and size of the wart also determines the surgical method to be used. Each method determines the pain after the surgery. Doctors prefer a surgery that has minimum chances of causing injury and scars on the skin. Following are a few popular surgeries used for cure.
Laser Surgery: In this surgical method, the wart is burned using a strong and focused beam of light. It is a surgical method that guarantees less scars on the skin after treatment. You may have to pay a few visits to the clinic and this treatment can be quite expensive. The pain after the treatment is almost negligible, but you may feel some amount of redness or swelling on the skin for a few days.
Electro Surgery: This method involves burning of the wart with the use of electric current. For this process, you may have to pay frequent visits to the clinic depending on the size of the mound. Smaller the size, lesser the visits. This method too is known to leave mild scars after the treatment. The pain subsides after a short interval of time.
Curettage: This method involves cutting the wart with a sterilized sharp knife. As this method involves cutting, the procedure may cause significant amount of pain, during and after the treatment. The pain may persist till the wound is healed completely. This method is relatively cheap, as cutting the wart requires only one session.
Cryotherapy: This is another method, in which the wart is frozen with liquid nitrogen. This acts similar to duct tape. It prevents the virus from spreading and also kills the existing virus. This treatment is considered painless and does not leave scars. It takes 3 – 4 weeks to remove the wart but if it is bigger in size, it may take more time.
Surgery does not destroy the virus, it just removes the wart. So weighing all the options before opting for a surgery would be advisable. Surgical treatments can leave scars on the skin. The recovery time also differs with each method. So, you must consider important factors, such as, the recovery time, pain, cost of the surgery, and scarring before opting for any surgery. Once you remove the wart, follow the prescribed preventive measures to avoid infection in future.
To reduce your chances of getting infected with plantar warts, take some simple precautions like wearing shoes to public places and drying your feet clean after swimming or bathing in public bath rooms. In case of an infection, visit the doctor immediately. The situation can be deterred from advancing further by taking appropriate steps. Surgery is always an option for treating warts, however, it is best to prevent the infection by avoiding exposure to HPV, and maintaining cleanliness and hygiene.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.