are plantar warts itchy?

Plantar warts can be itchy. Warts are caused by exposure to HPV or the human papilloma virus. Warts are made up of uncontrolled cell growth covered in flaky, dry skin, which can cause itching. They can also feel painful from rubbing against your shoes when you walk.

It’s important to avoid scratching your warts as they can spread to other areas of your body. In addition, scratching can cause the skin to become infected with bacteria, causing pain, discoloration, and other symptoms.

Preventing Spread of Plantar Warts

After touching your warts, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly to avoiding spreading it to other parts of your body and to others. Also, avoid sharing towels and any foot implements for cutting nails with others.

Treatment of Plantar Warts 

While there are many different types of treatments for plantar warts, they vary in terms of their effectiveness. 

Folk Remedies

Various folk remedies such as duct tape, apple cider vinegar, and tree tea oil have been touted as useful for treating plantar warts.  You can certainly try them, but they probably won't do much. Apple cider vinegar can cause burns.

Over-the-counter medications

You can try over-the-counter medications (OTC). Most of these combine salyclic acid with other ingredients but are only about 50% effective in getting rid of warts. Another type of OTC medication freezes the wart, but does not penetrate as deeply as the liquid nitrogen in your doctor's office.

Destructive Treatments At Your Doctor's Office for Plantar Warts

There are also a variety of treatments your doctor may offer including:

  • freezing
  • chemical treatment
  • laser removal
  • surgical removal

While these treatments are more effective than over-the-counter medications, their success can vary widely from 50%-70%. And because they target the wart, not the cause of the wart (Human Papilloma Virus) they have a 20% chance of recurrence. In addition, these treatments require you to stay off your feet afterwards and can be messy.

Swift Immune Therapy the Most Advanced Treatment for Plantar Warts

Fortunately, we now offer our patients more advanced therapy (Swift Immune Therapy) that has a much higher success rate (85%) and <1% recurrence rate because it targets the virus that causes warts, instead of the wart itself. 

To learn more about Swift here.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.