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 usually 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 the correct plantar wart management 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:
Managing plantar warts or foot warts can be tedious, and the principle behind the management options is to trigger an immune response from our body to fight the virus.
Management options in Singapore include:
Your medical professional should recommend the best management 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 options 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 medical profession or podiatrist should assess and advise which option best suits your condition.
Plantar wart removal can be uncomfortable, depending on the choice of management. Over-the-counter salicylic applications are usually painless but are less 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 selected option. 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, wart removal has potential risks and side effects. These can include infection, scarring, and discolouration of the skin. Your medical professional or podiatrist should discuss these risks before proceeding with any treatment.
Wart removal treatments can be effective, but a carefully selected management plan is key. Your medical professional or podiatrist should assess your condition before recommending the option that will produce the highest likelihood of outcome. As with any other infection, there is a chance of recurrence. The recurrence rates depend on the patient’s circumstances, such as immunity and hygiene. Your medical professional should advise on prevention and recommend any necessary follow-up care.