Plantar warts are an extremely common and extremely frustrating nuisance. Millions of Americans will deal with them at one point or another in their lives.

That being said, even though plantar warts are common, that doesn’t necessarily mean you know everything there is to know about them. On the contrary, you may have many questions: what they are, how you got them, and how to get rid of them being some of the ones we hear on a regular basis!

In order to help you out, we’ve put together some quick and easy plantar warts FAQs and wart treatment. We hope you find the information helpful as you plan your next steps!

What Are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are fleshy, grainy growths of skin that appear on your feet, particularly the heels or balls of your feet. They develop when certain strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, infect the upper layers of skin.

Warts on other areas of the body tend to have a raised appearance, but plantar warts may appear flat due to pressure from standing on them. Plantar warts disrupt the normal lines and ridges on your feet, and you may even notice black “pinpoints” in the center of the wart (which are clotted blood vessels).

How Did I Get Plantar Warts?

Two things are generally required to get plantar warts—exposure to HPV, and a way for the warts to get under the skin.

You’re more likely to be exposed to HPV if you go barefoot in public environments, particularly those which are humid—pool decks, locker rooms, showers, etc. The virus can also thrive inside damp shoes and socks.

HPV gets in through cuts, cracks, breaks, and other weak points in the skin. Keeping your skin healthy, clean, and smooth helps reduce your risk. Unfortunately, prevention isn’t always 100% guaranteed.

Will My Plantar Warts Go Away on Their Own?

Some warts will go away on their own. Others do not.

However, it’s important to understand that, even if your plantar warts do eventually go away without treatment, this process may take months or even years. And in that time, they will have the opportunity to spread to other parts of your body, or even to other people in your household.

Do I Need to Treat My Plantar Warts at All?

Treating plantar warts is a personal choice. If your warts aren’t causing you any pain or emotional distress, you may choose not to treat them. 

However, as noted above, untreated warts may take a long time to go away, or may never go away. As long as you have an active wart, there is a risk they could spread. Warts may also become larger, or develop in areas that make it painful to stand or walk. 

For these reasons, we strongly encourage you to treat your warts even if they aren’t really bothering you right now. Better to take care of the issue before it becomes a much bigger (and more difficult to treat) problem.

Is It Bad to Pick at My Warts?

Yes, it is. Picking, scratching, or even just touching your warts could cause them to spread to your hands, or to other parts of your body that you touch afterward.

Avoid touching your warts as much as possible. If you only have one or two small warts, it may be a good idea to cover them with a loose, non-medicated bandage to discourage picking and reduce the risk of spreading.

If you must touch your warts, wash your hands immediately afterward with soap and water.

Can I Treat My Plantar Warts at Home?

While several over-the-counter wart treatment kits (and even “home remedies”) exist, the unfortunate reality is that the overall success rates for these treatments are very low. Almost all rigorous studies of home treatments for warts show little if any effect better than a placebo.

That doesn’t mean you can’t try them if you wish, as long as they are safe. However, we usually recommend you skip the home treatments and move straight to professional treatment options for faster, more reliable results.

Absolutely never attempt to pick at your wart with tweezers, cut it out with clippers, or perform any kind of “bathroom surgery.” This not only won’t solve your wart problem, but can also cause you a lot of pain and increase your risk of dangerous infections.

What Are the Professional Treatment Options for Plantar Warts in Lee's Summit?

There are many different professional treatment options. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Using a peeling medication on your warts, such as salicylic acid
  • Freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen or similar cryotherapy procedures
  • Surgically removing the wart using traditional tools
  • Laser surgery
  • Swift Microwave Therapy

What Is the BEST Plantar Wart Treatment Option in Missouri?

Although optimal treatment can vary from person to person based on their individual situation and needs, Swift Microwave Therapy is going to be the best choice for a significant majority of patients with plantar warts.

This treatment uses a brief (2-3 second) pulse of microwave energy into the area of the wart to treat the affected tissue and attract the attention of the immune system, which attacks the HPV infection from the inside out.

Compared to older methods like salicylic acid and cryotherapy, Swift typically requires fewer treatment sessions, causes only minimal discomfort (and only for a few seconds), requires no aftercare, and has an extremely low risk of side effects. Warts are also less likely to return after treatment due to the increased involvement of the immune system.

You can learn more about Swift on our service page, as well as our Swift FAQ.

Effective Plantar Wart Treatment in Lee’s Summit

If, after reading the above FAQs, you’re ready to take the next step on your journey to eliminate your plantar warts, just give us a call at (816) 246-4222 or connect with us online today! With a variety of treatment options, including Swift Microwave Therapy, we can help you find the treatment approach that works best for your condition and your lifestyle.