If warts prevent you from exercising or participating in other routine activities, don’t wait to seek treatment. At his practice in San Jose, California, experienced podiatrist Gerald D. Austin, DPM, treats plantar warts in people of all ages using safe, non-invasive means. To make an appointment, call the office to speak with a member of the administrative team, or click the online booking tool.
Warts are small, flesh-colored bumps that tend to develop on weight-bearing areas like the heels or balls of your feet. They’re caused by a strain of the human papillomavirus and are highly contagious.
Anyone can develop plantar warts, but they’re especially common in young children and teens. Experts aren’t entirely sure why, but it’s probably because their immune systems are still developing.
Most warts resolve on their own over time, but if yours cause pain or interfere with your daily routine, it’s important to visit Dr. Austin as soon as possible.
Common symptoms of warts include:
If you have diabetes or another health problem that affects your circulation, you might also experience signs of an infection like redness, increased sensitivity, and warmth.
There’s no way to prevent warts entirely, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk. Dr. Austin recommends keeping your feet clean and dry, not picking or scratching at warts, and washing your hands if you come in contact with one. In addition, avoid walking barefoot in public facilities like locker rooms or around swimming pools.
To diagnose warts, Dr. Austin reviews your medical history and conducts a physical exam. Most warts are visible to the naked eye, but if he suspects the growth is something else, he might take a biopsy. To do this, Dr. Austin uses a scalpel to remove a small section of the lesion. Then, he sends it to a laboratory for additional testing and analysis.
Most warts are harmless and resolve on their own over time. If your warts are painful or affect your self-esteem, Dr. Austin can remove them during a quick, outpatient procedure. There are two ways to remove warts:
During this type of wart removal, Dr. Austin uses a chemical called salicylic acid. Salicylic acid causes the wart to peel away one layer at a time. It also helps stimulate your immune system’s ability to combat the wart and prevent it from recurring.
During cryotherapy, Dr. Austin uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart. Before applying the liquid nitrogen to your wart, he administers a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort. Once applied, the liquid nitrogen causes the skin to die. As your body heals, the wart falls off.
To further explore treatment for warts, make an appointment at the practice of Gerald D. Austin, DPM, by calling the office to speak with a caring member of the administrative staff, or by clicking the online booking tool.