Plantar warts commonly develop on the bottom of the foot when patients get a viral infection within their skin. The good news about planters warts, is that the viral infection only gets in the epidermis, and it does not go down to the dermal layer of the plantar foot.
The problem with plantar warts, especially on the bottom of the foot, is that they can be very hard to get rid of. Because the epidermis is so thick on the bottom of our foot, over-the-counter treatments such as salicylic acid and freezing do not tend to work as well. These treatments can work better on other parts of the body, but on the bottom of the foot it often takes a stronger treatment to get rid of the wart.
We do not have one treatment that works every time for plantar warts to get rid of them, but the treatment with a high success rate for the bottom of the foot typically involves using cantharidin. Cantharidin is an interesting agent, because it is a blistering agent, and it actually is made from an enzyme that is found in the mouth of a beatle.
When we see people with planters warts that are not responding to the over-the-counter treatments, we typically recommend debriding the calloused tissue that has formed and then applying cantharidin. When we do this, it often causes a blistering reaction on the skin, but this is actually helpful because it helps peel off much of the plantar wart when the skin blisters.
We typically see this treatment work over time, but it can require several treatments to get the plantar wart to go away. If the plantar wart does not go away with this treatment, we can surgically remove the plantar wart and cauterize the remaining tissue to try to keep the virus from coming back and continuing to infect the skin.
Plantar warts can be very painful especially when they are on weightbearing surfaces of the foot, and if you are suffering from this, call your expert Colorado Springs podiatrists today at 719-488-4664, so we can help you!