Plantar warts or verruca plantaris is a viral infection of the skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are also known as foot warts because they normally appear on the underside of the foot. Plantar wart typically causes an area of hard, thickened skin that grows larger over time. It may or may not be painful, depending on its size and location. Plantar warts can look very similar to calluses or corns, so it is important to diagnose them correctly to get an effective plantar wart treatment in Singapore.
There are 2 types of plantar warts – solitary and mosaic.
A solitary wart is a single wart that often grows to a large size over time. They can affect one or more areas, but they do not normally form clusters of lesions.
Mosaic warts, however, usually form a cluster of small satellite wart lesions and spread to the surrounding area. They tend to look like little black or red dots within an area of hard skin.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for causing the viral infection on the outer layer of the skin, typically through a small opening or skin breaks. The virus triggers excessive production of keratin, causing an area of hard, thickened skin to develop. A plantar wart lesion will then take weeks to show up after the infection.
Plantar warts are non-cancerous skin growths and are totally treatable.
Signs and symptoms of plantar warts include:
The treatment of plantar warts or foot warts can be tedious and the principle behind the treatment options is to trigger an immune response from our body to fight the virus.
Treatment options include:
Your podiatrist should recommend the best treatment approach based on the severity of the wart lesion.
Plantar warts often develop in individuals who frequent communal areas such as swimming pools or public showers.
To prevent or reduce your risk of getting infected, it is best to:
It is important to understand that this condition can be contagious, and one should avoid sharing footwear or having excessive skin-to-skin contact with an individual with wart lesions.
There are various wart removal treatments that you can find in Singapore. These include over-the-counter salicylic acid applications, cryotherapy (wart freezing), and wart removal procedure (wart needling and curettage). Your podiatrist should assess and advise on which treatment is best suited for your condition.
Plantar wart removal can be uncomfortable, depending on the choice of treatment. Over-the-counter salicylic applications are usually painless but are not very effective. Cryotherapy typically involves slight discomfort and a wart needling procedure is only painful during the anaesthetic injection. Recovery time also varies depending on the treatment. For example, cryotherapy may take between 3 to 6 sessions (for moderate cases) to show results, whereas a wart needling procedure is a one-off procedure that normally takes 2 weeks to recover.
Like any medical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects associated with wart removal. These can include infection, scarring, and discolouration of the skin. Your podiatrists should discuss these risks with you before proceeding with any treatment.
The time it takes to see results after plantar wart removal in Singapore varies depending on the type of treatment chosen. Salicylic acid treatments and cryotherapy usually require multiple sessions over several weeks before results are visible. Wart needling procedure may provide almost immediate results, but the recovery period is about 2 weeks.
Wart removal treatments can be effective, but the choice of treatment is key. Your podiatrist should assess your condition before recommending the option that will produce the highest likelihood of recovery. As with any other infection, there is a chance of recurrence. The recurrence rates depend on the patient’s individual circumstances, such as immunity and hygiene. Your podiatrist can advise on prevention and recommend any necessary follow-up care.