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Breaking Down the Treatment Options for Warts

Jun 4, 2020

When it comes to foot warts, you have options. That includes various kinds of professional treatment to over-the-counter kits and home remedies, or even doing nothing at all.

Here’s the thing: not all these options are equally good. Some, in fact, are much better than others.

We’ll spoil the ending here and tell you that Swift Microwave Treatment, a breakthrough technology that we’ve recently added to our office, is in our opinion the best choice by far. But in order to really appreciate what Swift can do, it helps to know what the other choices are.

So what are your options, anyway? 

Option 1: Do Nothing

Obviously, this is the simplest strategy. And for some people, it can work!

It just won’t work very fast.

Because warts (and the viruses that cause them) live exclusively in the uppermost layers of skin, it can take your immune system a long, loooooong time to identify and eradicate them. Expect it to take months if not years for your warts to go away on their own.

In the meantime, of course, those warts can spread and multiply to other areas of your feet, your hands, or in rare cases even other people you live with. Swatting down one or two warts today could save you from having to treat many more later.

If you’re otherwise healthy, you only have a couple of warts, and they aren’t bothering you, you might decide to take the risk and just wait it out. It’s not something we’d typically recommend, however.

Option 2: Home Remedies

There are a lot of “home remedies” out there that have been suggested for warts—too many to fully list here. Some of the most popular include:

  • Covering the wart with duct tape for up to two weeks
  • Soaking the wart in apple cider vinegar
  • Applying clear nail polish to the wart
  • Rubbing the wart with an orange peel (or a banana peel, or a potato, or castor oil, or the milk of a dandelion, or …)

Pretty much the best thing you can say about these treatments is that they probably won’t hurt you. Whether they actually work is a different matter entirely, and truthfully there’s no solid evidence that they do. You may have a friend or relative who swears by, say, the “duct tape method,” but in all likelihood what they experienced was a coincidence. That is, the wart was going away on its own anyway.

From our perspective, home remedies are functionally the same as “do nothing.” You’re waiting for the immune system to get rid of the warts on its own and hoping they don’t spread before that happens.

Option 3: Wart Removal Products

This is a step up from home remedies, but maybe not as large of one as you might think. In fact, if improperly applied, a home kit might actually be worse than doing nothing.

With these over-the-counter products, you’re typically applying a mild peeling acid that softens and dissolves abnormal skin cells, or even freezing liquid to a wart so you can pick it off.

These can work, but the results generally aren’t nearly as effective as comparable procedures performed under the supervision of a doctor. Plus, you can sometimes cause collateral damage or blisters to healthy skin, and it can be painful.

Option 4: “Traditional” Professional Treatments

Doctors have traditionally had many in-office options to remove pesky warts. These include:

  • Cryotherapy, which is using liquid nitrogen or a similar super-cold substance to freeze the wart so it can be picked off.
  • Peeling medications, typically salicylic acid, to peel the skin away in layers to remove the wart.
  • Surgery to burn the wart off or excise it entirely.

Now, we’re starting to get some actually effective options. But despite this, there are still drawbacks. Traditional wart removal options can cause discomfort or even pain. Often, several treatment sessions are necessary, and aftercare is usually required. And even under the supervision of a doctor, there is a chance of some collateral damage to healthy skin.

One more drawback? Although these treatments can do a pretty good job removing a wart itself, they don’t necessarily kill the virus that caused it in the first place.

Option 5: Swift Microwave Therapy

And now we reach the best option: Swift Therapy.

Swift is a breakthrough approach to in-office treatment of warts that focuses on the cause of warts, rather than the symptoms.

Remember how we said in the “do nothing” section that warts usually go away on their own, but it takes a long time because the infection tends to stay hidden and protected from the immune system? Swift is designed to rapidly speed up this process and help your body eliminate warts quickly and effectively.

All it takes is a single, short burst (2-3 seconds) of microwave energy in the top layers of skin where the wart resides. This will not cause any lasting pain, nor will it harm your healthy skin. What it will do, however, is draw the attention of your immune system, direct it exactly where to go, and energize it to fight off the infection. Infected tissue under the surface is destroyed, and the body quickly sets in to repair and regenerate it.

With the virus killed, the wart will disappear on its own. No need to burn it off or cut it out.

You may experience a sensation kind of like touching a hot object for a couple seconds, but the feeling will dissipate almost immediately. In addition to no lasting pain, there’s no bleeding and no aftercare required.

As with other remedies, you may need 3-4 sessions for the wart to be totally eradicated. However, these appointments are quick, painless, and easy to fit into your busy schedule—unlike more traditional therapies.

The Choice Is Clear

Before Swift was an option, the best choice for treating warts wasn’t always so clear. Even if you decided on seeing a podiatrist for professional treatment, there was still a case-by-case determination whether cryotherapy, medication, or surgery would be the best choice for your situation.

Not anymore. Swift has emerged as the best option by far for the vast majority of people with plantar warts. It works better than anything else available, while simultaneously being the safest, most painless, and most convenient professional treatment option. We think it’s a no-brainer.

And it’s available here at Kalamazoo Podiatry! We’ve always been dedicated to serving the Southwest Michigan community with the highest quality and most advanced treatment options available. That’s why we were among the first in the region to offer MLS laser therapy for pain, why we offer the most sophisticated 3D scanning and printing system for custom orthotics ever developed, and why we’re leading the way again when it comes to Swift.

If you’d like to get rid of your plantar warts quickly and comfortably, give us a call today, or complete the contact form on this page.

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