As we enter into the warm weather season, “wart season” (as I like to call it) is also upon us. What is a wart? More specifically, what is a plantar wart? A plantar wart is a lesion on the bottom of the foot that is caused by a virus. It can look like a callus with a bunch of black dots in it. The black dots are actually tiny blood vessels the virus is using to stay alive (yes, they live off of your blood!).
The virus is very contagious, and lives dormant on a variety of different surfaces including showers, tubs, pool decks, hardwood floors, etc. The main way we treat plantar warts in our office is with shaving it down, freezing it, then having you use a strong acid over night on the wart to help peel off the infected skin. Every layer of skin that comes off the wart comes with it. At times, this can be a slow process however it tends to be the most painless as well as the least recurrence. If we try this method and we can not get rid of the plantar wart, we will most likely recommend laser for the wart.
The laser procedure is performed in one of our surgery centers under local anesthesia. We administer a small amount of numbing medicine with a needle under the lesion and then laser it. This can have a painful recovery as it is a burn on the foot. However, in our experience this tends to be very effective as well.
To prevent contracting a wart, always wear flip flops or shower socks around the pool and water parks. Additionally, applying Lysol to your bath tub or shower will help prevent it from spreading from family member to family member.