Caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which enters the skin usually through a crack or cut, plantar or "seed" warts not only make the skin unsightly but can cause pain---especially in the soles of the feet, where they typically appear. Seed warts gain their name from the ends of capillaries that appear within them, which appear as black dots. Although removing warts can prove challenging, as HPV within the body can cause new warts to grow or existing warts to grow back, many wart removal treatment methods can successfully remove seed warts.
Consult your dermatologist before attempting home remedies or over-the-counter treatments, to find out whether you need your seed warts removed by a professional, can use an over-the-counter product or need a combination of removal methods. Keep in mind that whatever method you choose, warts can take anywhere from a few weeks to months to completely go away, and they may require repeated professional removal treatments over the course of a year or more if they persist.
Follow through with an immunotherapy treatment plan if your dermatologist believes that your seed warts result from an underlying immune system disorder that requires treatment. One method involves using the immune system's own defensive behavior to create a mild negative response (similar to an allergic reaction) to a chemical placed on the warts, which in turn causes your seed warts to go away.
Freeze your small seed warts with liquid nitrogen, which you can purchase in an over-the-counter wart removal product or at your dermatologist's office. Liquid nitrogen freezes and bursts skin cells containing HPV and gives the body's immune system a chance to more easily attack the virus, destroy it and allow healthy skin to grow.
Use patches of salicylic acid to burn away the infected tissue over time. One method involves applying a drop of the acid to the seed wart, covering with a patch and repeating the process several times a day for several days, weeks or months until the wart(s) and surrounding tissue burn away. You can also purchase premedicated matches that you cut to fit the size of your wart and use as needed until the warts burn away.
Tips & Warnings
- If you don't mind spending the extra money, have your seed warts burned or cut away with a laser treatment. Your dermatologist may also recommend using a topical or injected medication to help remove your seed warts.
- Only professionals should apply liquid nitrogen on large warts. Liquid nitrogen destroys tissue; it can destroy an overabundance of tissue if applied improperly or to a large area. Other methods (for example, salicylic acid patches) take longer to destroy seed warts but come with less up-front pain. Always keep your feet dry, as seed warts can grow and spread more when wet. Never roughly rub or rip away any dead tissue during treatments, as doing so can cause scarring.
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