Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are warts that occur on the surface of the feet. They can be especially stubborn to get rid of, and can sometimes even cause pain or discomfort when growing in certain areas of the foot.

If you want plantar warts gone, contact us at Heartland Foot & Ankle Associates. We can not only help you get rid of your warts but do so much easier and more comfortably than more traditional treatments. It’s all thanks to the new Swift Therapy!

What Are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are caused by an infection of the human papilloma virus, or HPV. 

All it takes is a small opening or weakness in the skin for the virus to take up residence beneath. This causes an acceleration of skin growth that can lead to:

  • Rough, grainy patches – often at the base of the toes, forefoot, or heel
  • Thickened skin or calluses
  • Tiny black spots in a wart (sometimes referred to as “seeds,” but they are actually clotted blood vessels)
  • Interruptions in the normal lines and ridges of the skin where growths have occurred

Plantar warts can grow singularly, but also in clusters (known as mosaic warts). They can also spread across the feet over time, as well as to other areas of the skin.

Part of what makes plantar warts so stubborn and long-lasting is how they reside only in the upper layers of the skin. This helps keep the virus out of the typical “range” of our immune system, letting them exist unopposed. 

Treating Plantar Warts with Swift

Although the virus that causes plantar warts can eventually die off on its own, it can take years to do so – and the potential of the virus spreading remains through that time.

Older methods of plantar wart treatment have also not been anybody’s favorite. Freezing, acid, and surgical removal can be cumbersome and quite painful. Fortunately, now we have a much more convenient alternative!

Swift Therapy for Plantar Warts deviates from older methods of plantar wart treatment by attacking the virus from the inside – not externally!

Swift delivers doses of microwave energy into the site of a wart. This causes heat and a mild disruption that your body responds to by sending an alert to your immune system. They arrive at the area that is often overlooked, recognize the virus there as a threat, and begin to attack.

You can think of Swift a bit like causing a noise complaint outside the secret lair of a criminal mastermind. The police will arrive for you disturbing the peace, but they’ll quickly realize and respond to the real problem at hand. No more hiding!

Swift therapy is an immune therapy that has an out-of-pocket cost to the patient of $299/session. Drs. Lockwood and Rizvi will evaluate and determine whether Swift therapy is a good option for you.

What is Swift Therapy Like?

A full course of Swift therapy is typically administered over 3-4 sessions spaced out over weeks or months.

During each session, we will lightly debride the warts so we can make better contact with the area. This will not hurt or cause any damage to the skin.

After that, we will deliver doses of microwave energy to the warts using the Swift device. These doses last 2-3 seconds and may cause a small pinching sensation, like a needle. However, any discomfort disappears very quickly once the dosage stops. You won’t have to hobble around the rest of the day on painful feet!

Many patients see their warts gradually grow thinner or smaller within the first few days of a treatment session, with results increasing over the course of treatment as their immune systems focus more on eradicating the virus.

There may be some cases in which Swift is ineffective or not recommended for a patient. If that is the case, we will fully discuss other potential wart removal options with you (such as laser therapy) and why we believe our recommendations would best suit your needs. We will also answer any and all questions you may have before you decide how you would like to move forward with treatment. 

Preventing Plantar Warts

Getting rid of plantar warts does not mean they could never return. And if you have never had plantar warts in the first place, it pays to take simple steps to reduce your risk of getting them!

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid direct contact with warts – yours or anyone else’s. Wash your hands immediately after touching one.
  • Do not share footwear, towels, or pedicure tools.
  • Keep your feet and socks clean and dry. Change out of sweaty socks and shoes regularly, as the virus loves warm, wet environments.
  • Never walk barefoot in public places like saunas, locker rooms, and public showers.

Following these steps can help you steer clear of problematic plantar warts, but an infection can still happen despite our best efforts. If you spot the signs of plantar warts, come see us for treatment right away. The sooner we can begin, the better!

Contact our office by phone or fill out our online contact form to request an appointment.