Your Plantar Warts Did Not Come From Kissing Toads!

As far as storybooks, fables, and legends go, kissing toads will get you one of two things. The first possibility is that it will turn into a handsome prince. The second is less'll get warts. I'm here to tell you that there is no evidence of either happening in recent history.

A wart is a presentation of a virus. The virus enters our system and forms these skin lesions. A plantar wart is named for the part of your body that the wart infects, in this case "plantar" refers to the bottom of the foot. Even though many refer to this type of wart as "planters warts," there is no relation to gardening whatsoever.

Just like a cold virus, there is little to do to directly treat this virus itself. Instead, we can treat the symptoms of the virus...the wart. Warts are treated in a multitude of ways. The most common way to treat warts is by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. Unfortunately, the skin on the bottom of the foot is often too thick for this treatment to be effective. Other treatments involve various topical medication or laser therapy.

I use a topical preparation called canthrone to treat warts in my Houston podiatry practice. It is not an acid, as most of the over-the-counter solutions are, but an irritant that forms a blood blister over the wart. The pressure of the blister eliminates the wart but does not harm the surrounding healthy skin. It is completely painless to apply on the office. There often is some discomfort, however, as the blister is forming and for a few days following.

Some people just have a predisposition to developing warts. They are most common in kids, because their skin is so well hydrated and least common in the elderly for the opposite reason. Even so, once a plantar wart has formed, be sure to treat it sooner than later, since they have the tendency to multiply and spread. One wart can be stubborn, but many warts can become problematic.

If you see something on your foot that might be a wart, don't wait to get it checked. Treat in your wart early will save you much frustration!
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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