Warts

What are warts?
Warts are raised bumps that can be found anywhere on the skin and are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are highly contagious and can be particularly painful if they are on the bottom of your feet (the plantar surface). Warts generally have a rough texture and can look like a solid blister or a cauliflower. They often have tiny black spots in them and these are little blood vessels (capillary heads). Warts often getting mistaken for corns/ callouses (hard skin).

When should I get treatment?
• The wart causes pain
• bleeds easily
• changes appearance
• spreads easily to other parts of the body
• comes back after prior removal
• appears in an area that leads to constant bumping and bleeding
• Don't like the appearance

What does treatment involve?
At Sole Health Podiatry the podiatrist will use a range of different treatments depending on the patients age and skin texture, size and type of wart and individual pain tolerance. Treatment may involve several appointments and a combination of different treatments, they may include the following;

Salicylic Acid
Used to remove the outer layer of the wart by softening the wart and dissolving abnormal cells. Manual debridement of the wart is carried out first using a scalpel, it is normal for the wart to bleed. The healthy skin surrounding the wart is then protected using a waterproof tape and then the acid is applied directly to the wart and covered with a dressing. This has to be kept dry for a few days before the next treatment.

Silver Nitrate
Used to cauterize the wart tissue. When the silver nitrate is applied to a wart, the tissue moisture or blood dissolves the dried nitrate salts, which then chemically burn the tissue. Manual debridement of the wart is carried out first using a scalpel,it is normal for the wart to bleed. A dressing is then applied.

Liquid Nitrogen
Used as cryogenic that can cause rapid freezing on contact with living tissue such as a wart. By exposing the wart to extremely cold conditions, the cells are unable to survive and start to die off. Liquid nitrogen treatment often causes some discomfort to the patient and can be used as an additional treatment to salicylic acid, silver nitrate and cantharone treatments. The liquid nitrogen is applied directly to the skin with a cotton bud and held for approximately 30 seconds. The cotton bud is removed and the process is repeated between 3- 5 times. After treatment it often feels like the skin has suffered a small burn and can show signs of redness directly around the wart, this is a normal reaction from the treatment.

Cantharone
Cantharone is a blistering solution used to treat warts and is derived from the blister beetle. Manual debridement of the wart is carried out first using a scalpel,it is normal for the wart to bleed. The healthy skin surrounding the wart is then protected using a waterproof tape and the Cantharone is applied to the wart and covered with a dressing. After 4- 6 hours the Cantharone must be rinsed of the area of treatment, this causes some discomfort. The Cantharone does not cause pain on application but will cause the wart to blister, this does not cause scarring, it is the process of lifting the wart from the skin.