We recently introduced Swift Treatment for plantar warts, and it is a form of therapy we’re very excited to have available to our patients. We are quite serious when we say it’s a game-changer for the way we address stubborn warts!
A recent blog goes deeper into exactly what Swift Treatment is and how it works, and we recommend giving it a read if you would like to know more about this technology.
Now let’s focus on its real-world applications. What makes Swift Treatment the superior choice for so many cases of plantar warts? To find answers, let’s first look at who is most likely to contract a case of warts on their feet in the first place.
A Refresher on Plantar Warts
Just to ensure we’re all on the same page, let’s review what we mean by plantar warts. This is an infection of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that resides within the upper layers of the skin on the bottom of the foot—usually around the toes, forefoot, and heel. You will often see:
- Small, rough growths, sometimes with tiny black specks
- Hard, thickened skin
- An interruption of the natural lines of the skin where the growths are
Definitely contact us if you notice any of these symptoms. The sooner treatment can begin, the better!
Who Is Most Likely to Get Plantar Warts?
While a plantar wart infection can afflict almost anyone under the right circumstances, some people are at a higher risk than others. Fortunately, Swift Treatment will almost always be a suitable way to address the warts of people in these groups. Even better, Swift has many notable benefits over other, more traditional forms of treatment! The following groups are most at risk of plantar warts:
Children and teenagers. In most cases, children and teens tend to be at higher risk of plantar warts because their immune systems are not as well developed as those of most adults. Kids also tend to spend more time in high-risk environments where they are running around barefoot, which means they’re more likely to be exposed to the virus in the first place. Swift Treatment can be a great option for kids because it dials down the pain factor a great deal when compared to other forms of treatment. Traditional treatments that can involve cutting, acids, or freezing can be tough for an adult to bear, let alone a child. Instead, Swift Treatment uses concentrated doses of low-level microwave energy to treat warts from within. There is a brief moment of discomfort during application—often described as similar to the poke of a needle—but it lasts about two seconds and vanishes almost immediately once the application is finished. Because it provides a much more comfortable option for plantar wart treatment, we highly recommend Swift for kids and teens.
Those with weakened immune systems. Much like children, anyone whose immune system is affected by certain diseases, hereditary conditions, or reactions to medications may be lacking some of the initial defenses that can keep HPV from setting up a base in the skin. For individuals with weakened or compromised immune systems, it is best to avoid as much potential for wound infection as possible. Any sort of cut or damage to the skin can increase risk at least a marginal amount, even when controlled. However, since Swift Treatment does not require any opening or external damage to the skin whatsoever, the risk of infection is effectively mitigated. Swift causes a response within the body that aids the immune system’s ability to discover and attack the HPV where it resides.
People working or active in higher-risk environments. HPV thrives best in warm, moist environments. Combine this with plenty of barefoot traffic and you have a place where your odds of contracting plantar warts climb. Gyms, locker rooms, and showers tend to fit this bill nicely. However, your own shoes can harbor the virus well, too—especially if you’re sweating in them all day. If you are working hard at your job or working out hard at the gym, the last thing you want is your plantar warts treatment to get in your way – either through long appointments or pain after the fact. Swift Treatment sessions are typically scheduled once per month, and each session itself usually lasts 5-10 minutes. It’s entirely possible to complete a session over a lunch break! And since the discomfort of a session is temporary, and isn’t going to leave lasting pain like cutting or acids, you can get right back to what you were doing beforehand without worrying about limping around. It’s truly a win-win for hard workers!
The Sooner You Start Plantar Wart Treatment, the Better
The longer you wait to address plantar warts, the more opportunity you give for the infection to worsen and spread. Never hesitate to come see us about any skin condition on your feet, even if it “doesn’t look that bad.” There’s always a good chance it’s the early stages of something that easily can become worse!
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Pignetti or Dr. Fernandez by calling (281) 292-7000. If you prefer to reach us electronically, simply fill out our online contact form and a member of our staff will respond to you.