Warts are lumpy growths in the skin caused by infection with human papilloma virus, of which there are now more than 100 known types that are responsible for the many different types of warts. Common warts seen on the feet are mosaic and plantar warts which are often deeper and resistant to pharmacy preparations.
Mosaic warts – these appear as a group of tightly clustered warts. The hands and soles of the feet are most commonly affected.
Plantar warts – these look like hard bumps, and can have tiny black dots on them. The soles of the feet are most commonly affected.
Warts are common, particularly in childhood. Some estimates suggest that up to one in five children have warts, with children aged 12 to 16 years most commonly affected.
Anyone can develop warts, but factors that increase the risk include:
- injuries to the skin
- skin infections that break the skin surface
- frequently getting the feet wet
- hands or feet that sweat heavily (hyperhidrosis)
- swimming in public swimming pools
- direct contact with other people’s warts
- scratching or shaving your own warts, which can spread the infection to other areas of your body.
Treatments for warts offered at The Foot and Ankle Clinic
Warts can be very stubborn and difficult to treat. In some cases they can even go away on their own as a person’s immune system provides its natural defence. However, in many situations this is unfortunately not the case. Warts on the feet in particular can often be painful and make walking and weight bearing activity difficult. Also in certain cases while we ignore or wait for them to disappear on their own they can spread throughout the body or get larger.
The Foot and Ankle Clinic have been treating warts for over 20 years. We have developed an extensive range of treatments designed to treat the most stubborn warts. These range from conservative treatments through to the more invasive treatments, such as surgery. The Foot and Ankle Clinic has a treatment solution for most warts, including the latest in laser wart treatment.
SWIFT Microwave Wart Therapy
SWIFT is a medical device that sends a concentrated microwave signal to the skin in order to eliminate warts, verrucae, and papillomas. The microwave signal is set to a specified depth to guarantee the treatment of the wart alone. During therapy, a process called Heat Shock occurs. Heat Shock is a phenomenon wherein the wart emits proteins into the circulatory system, alerting the immune system to register the source of HP Virus infection and begin combatting it.
Topical & Occlusive Acid Treatments
Depending on the type, location and size of the lesions involved, we source and use a range of potent topically applied medicines used for the removal of warts and skin tags. These treatments are typically painless and noninvasive. This makes them great for use in children.
The warts are frozen with liquid nitrogen resulting in a cold burn. This invokes an immune response to the HPV virus. It may take several regular cryotherapy treatments to get rid of warts and can be painful on large warts.
The wart is excised to include the healthy skin margins. The incision is through the full thickness of the skin but no deeper. The Podiatrist will avoid cutting into the next layer called the dermis, as this is more likely to cause scarring. A surgical instrument called a curette is then used to loosen underneath the wart so it can be scooped out as one piece. Phenol (mild acid) is then applied on the dermis where the wart was sitting to ‘mop up’ any viral particles remaining. This will require regular dressing until the wound has fully healed.
At the Foot and Ankle Clinic our highly qualified team of Podiatrists are all members of the Australian Podiatry Association and offer a combined 50 years’ experience. They are trained to diagnose and effectively treat warts via a range of treatments.
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