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May 10, 2018

Healthy Living: Getting Rid of Plantar Warts

It is commonly said that one must love a person “warts and all”. While the general advice of accepting flaws may be useful, the more we learn about warts the less we may be interested in accepting them. In tonight’s Healthy Living we find out more about one lesser discussed but very common wart that can be a source of pain for those who have it.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Warts may seem like an insignificant skin lesion for most people. While unsightly, it is usually harmless and so many may not see the need to visit a doctor unless they are interested in having them removed. But warts are caused by a very prevalent virus and depending on where they are located can cause pain. One example is warts on the soles of the feet. These are called plantar warts.


Ines Moguel

Dr. Ines Moguel, Dermatologist

“Plantar Warts are actually a HPV related disease. We know that we have over a hundred type of HPV and they are site specific meaning that depending on the subtype of virus they will have predilection for different places.


Marleni Cuellar

“How do you acquire them?”


Dr. Ines Moguel

“By direct contact but also cross contamination.”


Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. Depending on the strain of the virus you contract, warts may appear in different forms and on different parts of the body. Genital warts, for example, are known to be linked to cancer. The strain that causes warts under your feet is a different subtype. These type of warts are most often contracted by breaks in the skin that come in contact with the virus. They start small and eventually grow inward, and eventually, they irritate the nerves in your foot causing discomfort or pain when walking.


Dr. Ines Moguel

“The first sign is pain, normally in the beginning they are very, very small, flat something on your foot. They’re usually are on the weight bearing surface. So you may get it on the metatarsal or one the heel. The first symptom is pain. The other would be they feel when it starts to grow. They feel it. But they are very tender. Sometimes when you look you see this area of rough skin that has like a collar mourned that looks like callous and sometimes when you look at that you make see little black dots and those are signs of bleeding inside the wart.”


Marleni Cuellar

“A fish eye is not the same as a plantar wart?”


Dr. Ines Moguel

“No it’s a different type of wart. It’s also HPV we would call it like a cousin. They are related but not the same. If you have a callous it doesn’t mean it’s a plantar wart. A callous is growth that is localized and is not infectious so the treatment is different.”


Marleni Cuellar

“How would you know the difference between the two?”


Dr. Ines Moguel

“The diagnosis is actually clinical so the doctor will know.”


Doctor Moguel dissuades people from trying to remove warts with home remedies.


Dr. Ines Moguel

“So because it’s an infection that is viral it can spread so we always recommend if you suspect a callous you have a professional look at them and have a proper diagnosis so the treatment could be optimum.  The treatment we divide in topical which is something we can apply. We have injectables and we also have treatment that we do in the office. So we can use salicylic acid topically. It’s one of the best topical because it will make the wart soft so if you read lit it says they can go totally on its own. S patient can develop a wart and their system would be able to repel the virus within two years. However, that not what we see in practice. Most of the times when we see patients who leave the warts without treatment most of the time they will have more rather than less.  he most effective treatment we have seen continue to be the cryotherapy. The cryotherapy or the cryo-surgery is the use of liquid nitrogen which is a gas. We call it freezing because its minus one hundred and ninety-six degrees so basically what we do is freeze the wart. How it works is not by freezing but defreezing. So when the wart defrreeze the cell dies.”


Plantar warts are rare in small children and are most often seen in teenagers. Recently, scientists have discovered a new effective way to treat all warts.


Dr. Ines Moguel

“Interestingly there are promising studies that show that we should advise the patient with warts to get the HPV vaccine and I do. Yes I keep it and I offer it. The studies show that when the patients are given the HPV vaccines their warts totally go without treatment.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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