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Depending on where they are located, plantar warts can be painful. It’s no wonder patients prefer to avoid enduring more pain to remove them. Fortunately, procedures to remove warts are well tolerated by most people.

Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and infect the top layer of skin. A wart-causing HPV virus can enter the skin through a cut or break in the skin. The virus causes rapid skin growth, which develops into a wart.

Some warts go away on their own over the course of months or years. You may want your wart removed if it’s in an area that causes discomfort, such as the bottom of your foot or between your toes. As a foot and ankle surgeon at Inspire Health Clinics, Matthew Graff, DPM, routinely treats problems with the feet, including plantar warts that develop on the soles of the feet.

While plantar warts are not life threatening, having a wart on your foot can cause pain and make it difficult to walk, run, and lead an active lifestyle. Fortunately, there are things you can do to address warts on the foot. Dr. Graff uses various approaches to treat warts, depending on the size, and nature of the wart, such as whether the wart is recurring.

The idea of removing warts might conjure up an image of a painful procedure, but wart removal is well tolerated by most patients. Keep reading to learn more about your wart removal options.


Peeling medication

Salicylic acid is a substance available in various forms, including cream, patches, and tape that you put on your wart. You’ll be given directions to apply the medication daily. Gradually, your skin cells exfoliate so that over time the wart shrinks and can be rubbed away easily. The process is painless. It can take several weeks or months to remove warts using salicylic acid.


Cryotherapy involves freezing the wart using a cold substance such as liquid nitrogen. While it isn’t painless, a local anesthetic can be used to keep you comfortable. The procedure is very quick — usually about one minute per wart.

Healing takes one or two weeks and any discomfort from the procedure subsides quickly. If you’re concerned about pain, talk to Dr. Graff about options for managing any discomfort over those first few days following cryotherapy. Most warts require between one and four treatments, which are spaced out over several weeks.


If your warts are extensive or otherwise complicated, Dr. Graff may recommend surgery to treat them. Traditional or laser wart removal may be used to address warts that are not treatable with other options.

Laser surgery to treat warts may feel like a rubber band snapping against your skin. Most patients find laser surgery painless, and it has one of the highest success rates among wart treatments.

Don’t put off wart treatment because you fear that it will be painful. Your comfort is our top priority. To get started, give us a call to schedule a visit with Dr. Graff. New and existing patients can also request an appointment using our online booking form.

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