Plantar Warts are a common disorder, caused by a viral infection, namely, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Warts are more common on the bottom of the feet in areas of pressure. Our bodies fight off the HPV, and each person's immune system responds differently. There are multiple ways to treat plantar warts including excision (surgical removal) and non-surgical treatments.
Cantharidin is a substance derived from the blister beetle Cantharis vesicatoria, aka the Spanish Fly.
How does it work?
The normal action of these medications is to form a blister underneath the wart. This occurs within 24 hours of application. The blister formation kills the wart by cutting off its blood supply. Occasionally, there may be some blood in the blister fluid, which is normal. The blister may also be painful or itchy. Your physician will recommend appropriate medication.
What to expect:
As a general rule, you can expect the following:
4 hours: Mild discomfort may occur; control with bathing and medication
24 hours: Blistering usually formed within
24 hours - 4 days: Crusted blisters fall off leaving superficial erosions. Medication may be needed to control nighttime itching
7 days: Healed with temporary residual inflammation/redness.
Any resistant lesions will be re-treated by your physician at your next appointment.
In patients, especially children, with recalcitrant warts, we often recommend adding Zinc into the diet. Zinc helps to boost your immune system, allowing your body to fight off the HPV.