Treatments for Plantar Warts

Podiatrists may use various techniques to treat plantar warts.

The most common involves the application of a mild acid to burn the wart. More than one application is necessary over many weeks. However these treatments are quite effective. Salicylic acid, di or tri chloroacetic acid, cantharadin or podophylin are used the most frequently by podiatrists.

Other plantar wart treatments include:

  • Efudex (fluorouracil) is an ointment that can destroy the virus causing the wart in a fashion similar to that used in chemotherapy for skin cancer.
  • The use of laser is a new technology used to eliminate plantar warts. This procedure can be costly, may cause a scar and has the same effectiveness as other destructive procedures.
  • Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen causes the wart to blister or blacken then fall days later. This method does not cause a scar but in our experience less effective than the most common acids.
  • Curettage and electrocoagulation is a procedure performed under local anesthetic in which electricity is applied to the wart and scraped with a curette. This technique is used a last resort due to scarring or worse, the possibility of regrowth of the wart within the scar.
  • Bleomycin: this anti-cancer drug is injected into chronic unresponsive plantar warts.