Most of us will have had or will get a wart at some point in our lives. Warts are small, rough lumps or growths on you skin caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Warts are benign (non-cancerous) skin growths, most commonly found on the hands and feet. A wart on the sole of your foot is called a verruca. Warts are highly contagious as the affected skin cells release the viruses, so hygiene is of the utmost importance if you are affected.
Warts and verrucas are usually harmless and go away by themselves. In children, about half go away within a year, and about two-thirds disappear within two years. It may take longer for warts and verrucas to clear up for adults and can in some cases take up to 10 years.
Lots of over-the-counter treatments are available from your pharmacy. Your pharmacist may suggest speaking to your GP if these treatments haven’t worked for you. You are more likely to develop warts and verrucas if your immune system is weakened and in these situations your warts may be large, cover a wide area and be harder to treat.
There are four main types of warts caused by the (HPV). Despite their differences in appearance, they are all essentially caused the same way.
If you are suffering with a wart or verruca, Dr Rippon offers three safe and effective treatments that will remove the offending wart. The best treatment option for you will be confirmed by Dr Rippon after a full assessment at your consultation. Whichever treatment method is used to remove your wart, the procedure will usually only take a few minutes. An anaesthetic may be applied before removal but isn't always necessary, as there is minimal discomfort during the treatment.
EXCISION The wart or verrucae is carefully cut out using a surgical scalpel. This procedure can be done under local anaesthetic and will require a small stitch in the skin. The wart or verrucae is removed immediately in this treatment option.
CURETTAGE is a medical word for cutting out a growth. Warts are not dug out. Instead, they are scooped out. The tool used in wart curettage is often spoon-shaped to easily remove the growth.
CRYOTHERAPY This treatment method involves using Liquid Nitrogen to freeze off the wart or verrucae. The cold temperature kills the cells within the wart or verrucae, as well as constricting the blood supply. This causes the cells to die and naturally fall off.
Although warts can recur after any treatment to remove them, the rate of recurrence is less with surgical removal in most cases.
Plantar wart removal procedures at our registered medical clinic in Carlisle, Cumbria are carried out by Dr A G Rippon who specialises in minor surgery and aesthetics.
Because plantar warts often have a callus or other protective tough skin covering them, Dr Rippon may debride the area first. You may receive a local anesthetic either before or after debridement. Debridement is shaving or filing off dead skin.
When the wart area is numb, the wart will be surgically removed using the method decided upon by you and Doctor Rippon. Your foot will be bandaged after the procedure and you will be given aftercare instructions. You may need to stay off your feet for a day or two, depending on:
It’s important to follow all instructions to prevent the possibility of infection. Dr Rippon will provide you with aftercare to follow.
Wart removal surgery requires much the same preparation as any other minor surgery procedures (please read our minor surgical procedures brochure).
You will need to tell Doctor Rippon about any medical conditions you have or medications you are taking. You will be advised as to whether you should stop your medications before the surgery. Plantar wart surgery often means you will have to stay off your feet afterward. You may need to make arrangements for someone to drive you home and you may need to inform your employer that you will need time off. Try to rest and relax before the surgery. Stress can increase your pain and slow your recovery time.
The most important thing you can do after wart removal surgery is to follow Doctor Rippon’s aftercare instructions to prevent infection and facilitate healing. Although you may experience discomfort, it’s usually not severe enough to require more than over the counter pain relief. Doctor Rippon may prescribe an antibiotic. Recovery time will vary, but generally doesn’t take more than a few days. Complete healing may take up to a month. Your wound may leave a scar, or you may experience changes in the skin color.
You will need to contact Dr Rippon if: You develop a fever. Your pain is severe. You have excessive bleeding. You have a discharge from the wound.
Although complications are rare after wart removal surgery, Dr Rippon needs to be made aware if any part of the recovery process doesn’t go as expected. Many individuals have found that the benefits of wart removal surgery outweigh the risks involved. Their warts are usually gone after one treatment. The surgery can be painful and full recovery can take a long time, but getting rid of warts quickly makes it worthwhile.
Warts and verrucas are caused by a virus. They can be spread to other people by contaminated surfaces, or through close skin contact. It can take months for a wart or verruca to appear after contact with the virus.
You’re more likely to spread a wart or verruca if your skin is wet or damaged.