How Cryotherapy And Peeling Medication Can Help Your Plantar Wart

If you have a plantar wart on your foot, it may eventually go away on its own. However, it may take several months for that to happen, so if the wart bothers you when you walk, you should see a foot doctor for treatment. The problem with plantar warts is that they form on the ball or heel of your foot, where you apply pressure as you walk. This can make them painful. Plus, the pressure of walking creates callouses that cover the wart and make it difficult to treat with home remedies. The quickest way to be free of your wart is to let a podiatrist remove it. A common method of plantar wart removal is freezing combined with a peeling medication. Here is how it works.

Peeling Treatments

Medications that cause the skin and wart to peel away contain some form of acid, such as salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is found in some over-the-counter wart removal products, but the kind supplied by your foot doctor is stronger and more effective. This type of medication causes your wart to slowly peel away a layer at a time. The medication may be enough to get rid of the wart on its own, but since it takes a long time, your podiatrist may suggest combining it with cryotherapy to speed up the process.

Freezing Treatments

While you'll apply the peeling medication by yourself at home, you'll go to the doctor's office for the cryotherapy, or freezing treatments. The doctor numbs the area first and then sprays or dabs liquid nitrogen on the wart. This instantly freezes the top layer of the wart and kills it. The damaged tissue sloughs off in a few days. You'll probably need to return to the foot doctor for one or two more treatments to get to the deepest layers of the wart. In between cryotherapy treatments, you'll continue to apply the peeling medication at home. This type of combined treatment should have your wart gone and your foot healed in just a few weeks.

There are other plantar wart treatments your doctor might consider such as cutting out the wart, using stronger acids, or removing the wart with a laser. These are effective treatments too, but are generally reserved for warts that are difficult to remove with cryotherapy. Cryotherapy has a lower risk of leaving behind scar tissue that can bother you when you walk. If you have several warts or if your warts keep coming back, your doctor may want to try immunotherapy to trigger your body into fighting the wart virus. If the wart doesn't bother you, you may want to wait for it to go away on its own. However, if it makes it painful to walk or work, seeing a podiatrist is the quickest way to get relief. For more information, contact a foot doctor at a location like Laurel Podiatry Associates, LLC.