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Mitchell Wachtel D.P.M.

How to Identify and Treat Pesky Plantar Warts

"Hi my name’s Dr. Mitchell Wachtel and today we’re going to talk about warts.

Warts are viruses that occur in the foot routinely. They typically occur when someone walks on a surface that is typically moist and the contact that occurs from people walking through this same area will cause the wart. It’s a surface to surface lesion that occurs from transmission or contact of another skin surface. The ways from preventing warts from occurring would be to always wear some kind of sandal or shoe when walking on a bare surface. In the [public] showers you should always be wearing a sandal of some kind. Warts can unfortunately increase from one wart to many warts. They will typically become very painful. A common wart that we see on the bottom of the foot will inside them have little black dots. That means the wart is at the capillary level, the small blood vessels. So when we begin cutting down the wart you’ll see a little bit of blood spouting because it’s at the blood vessel level.

The way we typically treat warts is conservatively such as cutting down the dead skin until we see a little blood coming out and then we apply medication on their. The most important treatment to prevent warts long-term is to introduce that virus back into the body. We treat it by shaving down the lesion, applying a medication, and not letting it grow back by applying a high powered acid that we have in our office. Another part of our treatment is stopping moisture. Because we sweat, especially in the feet, the excess moisture will allow the wart(s) to spread throughout the rest of the foot. Many times in our practice we’ll see someone who’s had one small wart and they let it go turning into a multitude of warts.

In our practice we always recommend that if you see one wart, come in quickly to get it treated quickly so you don’t have to worry about a variety of other warts developing from that area. So if you have a wart see a podiatrist and they’ll treat it by removing the lesion and applying some medicine. There are also other treatments in our practice such as laser treatment and completely removing the lesion. But our first method of treatment is typically to treat it conservatively and debris the wart down."

Dr. Mitchell Wachtel
Dr. Mitchell Wachtel is a North Andover podiatrist who specializes in the treatment of the feet and ankles.