Plantar Warts

The stuff of wives’ tales and scary bedtime stories, unsightly warts never seem to go away quickly enough. While most of us are introduced to them on halloween masks and in cartoons, these unpleasant local growths appear on more than just the pages of dark fairy tales. In fact more than half of the population will develop one or more warts on their feet at least once during their life. And despite being generally less critical than say a broken toe, they are still a medical condition with consequences that should be treated.  

Many people with warts report irritation, pain and embarrassment. This last one, may be the reason that many people avoid seeking medical advice. If left untreated, warts can jump to other areas of your body or even infect other people. Traditionally, warts have been difficult to treat leading to a long healing process. However, thanks to the new Swift system, that is all about the change.

Before we get into what the Swift system does, let’s examine the condition itself.

Symptom of Plantar Warts

Unsurprisingly, the most identifiable symptom of a plantar wart is the localized growth itself. These viral tumors have a grainy, rough appearance. While warts can develop anywhere on the body, the term plantar refers specifically to the feet. They most commonly appear on the toes or soles. Some warts develop little black dots, that many people call “seeds.” Actually, warts don’t have seeds. These black dots are in fact tiny, clotted blood vessels. Corns or calluses can sometimes be mistaken for a plantar wart.

The average plantar wart is about the size of a pencil eraser. Some can grow to be bigger. They can occasionally grow in clusters. These are called mosaic warts. Due to the pressure placed on the warts while walking, plantar warts don’t usually protrude very far above the skin.

If a plantar wart develops in a location that is prone to rubbing or chafing against the inside of your shoe or a spot which bears the weight of walking, it can lead to excessive tenderness, discomfort, or even pain when walking or standing.

What Causes Plantar Warts?

Unlike many others diseases plantar warts has only one cause and if is receiving the wart from another person.

For example, if you shake your hand with someone who has plantar warts then your will receive the wart bacteria which will cause you the problem gradually.

You can get it if you use or touch used by a person who is already infected with the warts.

If your family member has this problem and you share your towels, nail clippers or any other thing then you are at a huge risk of developing this problem.

What Are Risk Factors Of Plantar Warts

Plantar warts can happen to anyone, it doesn’t matter if you are a kid or a adult, you will receive the wart bacteria if you come in contact with a person suffering from plantar warts then you will develop it.

However, there are few factors that can increase your chance of receiving  this problem, here are some of them:

  • Having a weak immune or blood circulation
  • Walking barefoot in areas where wart-causing virus are common, this can include places like swimming pools or gyms
  • Being a teenager or a kid
  • Having a medical history of plantar warts
  • Living with someone who has plantar warts

Are Plantar Warts preventable?

Of course! Plantar warts is something that can be prevented really easily since all you need to do is following these tips:

Do not share anything with a person suffering from plantar warts

Don’t scratch or pick your warts, you will worsen them

If you use a pumice stone then clean it properly after every use and do not let anyone use it

Always keep your feet and hands dry, moisture can increase chances of many other problems.

Always wear foot wear in places where wart-causing virus

Can children get plantar warts?

Yes, children can indeed get plantar warts. Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), and they are not limited to any specific age group. Children can contract the virus through direct contact with contaminated surfaces or from someone who has plantar warts. Their immune systems may not be as robust as those of adults, making them more susceptible to developing warts. Additionally, children may not always report or notice the discomfort associated with plantar warts, so it’s essential for parents and caregivers to monitor their children’s feet and seek prompt medical attention if any suspicious growths appear to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Is It possible for plantar warts to resolve on their own?

Yes, it is possible for plantar warts to resolve on their own, although this can vary from person to person. The body’s immune system can eventually recognize and eliminate the human papillomavirus (HPV) responsible for the wart, causing it to disappear over time. However, this natural resolution process can be slow and may take months or even years. In some cases, plantar warts may persist, grow larger, or multiply. It’s essential to monitor them closely and seek medical attention if they cause pain, discomfort, or interfere with daily activities. Medical treatments are available to expedite wart removal if necessary.

How long does it typically take to get rid of plantar warts with treatment?

The time it takes to eliminate plantar warts with treatment can vary widely. Some warts may respond quickly, while others require several weeks or months of consistent treatment. Common treatments include over-the-counter wart removers, cryotherapy (freezing), laser therapy, or chemical treatments performed by a healthcare professional. Surgical removal is also an option for stubborn warts. Success largely depends on factors like the size and depth of the wart, the chosen treatment method, and individual immune responses.

Getting rid of a plantar wart

Plantar warts typically require many weeks of therapy. Consistency is the most crucial aspect to bear in mind when treating a wart. Make sure to carefully adhere to your treatment strategy because plantar warts can be challenging to get rid of and have a propensity to come again. For liquid nitrogen therapy, cryotherapy normally necessitates two to three visits to the doctor. One to three sessions of laser therapy may be necessary for success.

Stay off your foot for about a day if you had your wart surgically removed by a doctor. Retain the bandage in place and refrain from applying pressure to the wart’s location.

Guidelines for avoiding plantar warts

A plantar wart can be avoided by following the advice below:

In public areas like swimming pools, locker rooms, or dorms, always keep your feet covered. If you are under 26 years old, talk to your doctor about getting the HPV vaccine. Though additional research is necessary, it might aid in wart prevention.

• If you have a wart, switch up your socks and shoes every day.

• Cover the wart and wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of plantar warts.

What should individuals expect during a Swift treatment session for plantar warts?

During a Swift treatment session for plantar warts, individuals can expect the following:

  1. Consultation: The healthcare provider will review your medical history and examine the plantar warts to determine if Swift treatment is suitable for you.
  2. Preparation: The treatment area will be cleaned, and a local anesthetic may be applied to numb the area and reduce discomfort during the procedure.
  3. Swift Application: The healthcare provider will use a specialized handheld device to deliver microwave energy to the plantar warts. The device is applied directly to the skin over the wart, and multiple short bursts of microwave energy are delivered.
  4. Sensation: You may feel a sensation of heat or tingling during the treatment, but it should not be painful. If you experience any discomfort, let your healthcare provider know so they can adjust the settings or provide additional anesthesia if needed.

Are there any limitations or restrictions on activities after undergoing Swift treatment?

After undergoing Swift treatment for plantar warts, there are generally no specific limitations or restrictions on activities. However, it’s essential to follow some general guidelines to ensure proper healing and maximize the effectiveness of the treatment:

  1. Avoid Picking or Scratching: Do not pick at or scratch the treated area, as this can increase the risk of infection and interfere with the healing process.
  2. Keep the Area Dry: Try to keep the treated area dry for at least 24 hours after the procedure. Avoid soaking the feet in water or exposing them to excessive moisture.
  3. Avoid High-Impact Activities: While there are no specific restrictions on activities, it’s a good idea to avoid high-impact activities that could put excessive pressure on the feet, such as running or jumping, for a few days after treatment.

Home Treatments

Duct tape

Plantar warts have been reported to be treated with duct tape, however this is only anecdotal. According to experts, this lessens the virus’s access to oxygen, which results in the wart. It is safe to try this procedure even though there is conflicting evidence regarding its efficacy.

Pumice stone

People might use a pumice stone or emery board to scrub the wart after soaking the foot in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes to soften it. Both drugstores and online retailers sell pumice stones.

 Frozen creams

People can use over-the-counter medications to freeze off plantar warts. Dimethyl ether and propane creams, which can be less efficient than salicylic acid, may be among them.

Treating Verruca Effectively with Microwave Energy – Are we getting warmer?

by Pete Turnbull November 18, 2018


The basic science of microwave effects on skin and clinical responses noted suggest a mechanism for the observed action of microwaves in cutaneous warts, although more research is required to further this knowledge. Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of hyperthermia provides a strong case for this new technology to be explored further as a local immune response activator therapy. Additionally, it seems likely that there may be many other potential dermatology applications for this exciting technology.

Read the full article +

What Will it Feel Like?

The microwaves will specifically target the cells that are causing the wart. It does not affect any nearby cells (including those on the surface). The microwaves cause the water molecules in the cells to vibrate and produce heat from friction. The temperature of the wart will rise to 42-45ºC in a matter of seconds and can cause some level of discomfort. It, however, only lasts for a second. This temperature is only a few degrees warmer than a hot tub and does not result in any scarring or serious side effects.

Can Anything be done to Eliminate Discomfort During The Swift Procedure?

While most patients do not report experiencing any significant levels of discomfort (many compare it to the feeling of an injection), everyone’s pain tolerance is different. If you are concerned about the pain, feel free to open a conversation at your consultation. Our professional staff will discuss pain and tolerance levels with each individual before they undergo the Swift treatment. If it is determined that pain relief is needed, we can administer the appropriate level of pain blocker. Some options include local anaesthetic, prescription medications. These and other methods will be discussed with you before the treatment.

How Many Treatments are Required?

It totally depends on how your body responds to the treatment method. In most cases, patients will need to undergo 3 to 4 treatments over a 4 week period. Once you come in for your consultation, we will be able to give you a ballpark figure.

Is Swift Approved to be used with Anyone?

With very few exceptions, everyone can undergo the Swift technique to treat a variety of skin lesions. Our specialists will complete a full health assessment prior to any treatment to determine if you are one of the few people that cannot.

How Does the Swift System Work?

By using microwaves to attack the wart, the Swift system guarantees effective and consistent results. The Swift system can be precisely calibrated to control the power, depth and duration of the microwave blast. Similarly to the powerwaves used in your microwave oven at home, these non-ionising waves agitate water molecules, causing them to vibrate and collide. The result is friction and the generation of thermal energy. Since there is a large water content in skin cells, the Swift system quickly reaches the desired temperature within target cells (2 to 3 seconds). Microwaves are found on the electro-magnetic spectrum between radio waves and infrared waves (300MHz-300GHz). The Swift system uses the optimal frequency of 8GHz to achieve its results.

The specially calibrated Swift microwaves will penetrate the skin without causing damage to the surface of the skin; unlike cryotherapy, salicylic acid or laser ablation which destroy tissue at the point of application. The microwave energy is delivered to a predetermined depth; usually between 3.5 – 4mm. The energy is deployed in a straight beam without dispersing or spreading out as it travels away from the source. This ensures that only the targeted area is impacted.  There is no wait time. The microwaves start doing their job as soon as they are applied and only in the defined depth.

The Swift system does not impact the DNA of the skin cells and cannot travel any deeper than 6.5mm (¼ inch) into the skin.