Warts: when the cure is worse than the disease

If it’s actually classified as a disease.

I have a foot wart. I’ve lived with it for years (probably 4-5) and never had a problem with it. It’s located on my left foot, about 2 inches “down” from my toes and it’s never botherd me.

Recently I noticed it started to spread (probably because of me playing soccer) so I went out a purchased Compound-W planters(sp?) wart pads.

It’s been 8 days now and I’m almost disabled.

I checked my foot a few days ago and the skin all around the wart is white (like a blister). The wart is raised and also white. It’s also painful as hell! I can barely drive since I gotta clutch with this foot. I have to wear sneakers because my normal shoes aren’t soft enough. I tried wearing sandles and had to give them up.

Anyone else use this pads before? How do I know when to stop? Will my wart literally just disapear? Or am I waiting for a hole to form?

I hate this! I can’t walk properly and running is out of the question. I can’t even walk bare foot around my house! I have to hobble and it’s starting to hurt my calf (and my dignity :D).

I wonder if I can apply for a handicap permit :smiley:

Plantar warts (the kind you get on the bottom of your feet) are notoriously painful to remove, because you really have to dig deep to remove all the infected tissue.

And, yes, you can call it a disease if you want, since they’re caused by a virus.

I had mine burned off with liquid nitrogen. They came back.

I then tried the duct tape cure and they’ve been gone ever since.

Hmm, I don’t know how effective it is on Plantar warts, but I found duct tape to be the quickest remedy of all. Just put a small piece of duct tape over the infected area and replace periodically. My wart went away in a couple of weeks. Worked much better than the little pads and the bottle of acid that I tried before.

Curse you plnnr! I knew I shouldn’t have taken the time to verify my claim on Google.

Oooh, I hate plantars warts. They’re painful little buggers (at least mine were because it felt like you were walking on a small rock) and very difficult to get rid of. I finally had success using a combination of a filet knife and liquid wart medicine. Duct tape was next on my list but I didn’t have to resort to that. I tried the little pads, too, but they did the same thing to my foot that they did to yours.

Now that I’ve gotten rid of my second batch of them, I had made a habit of not going bare-footed at the gym or pool. I’m pretty sure that’s where I picked them up.

Duct tape?

You mean I didn’t need to spend $18.99 on these pads that seem to do the same thing as duct tape does? Ack!

Well, I’ve still got 6+ months worth of “treatment” left. I guess I’ll stick with it. If that fails, duct tape. I’ll freaking tape half my foot if it’ll get rid of the little bugger.

Interesting how duct tape seems to work. I suspect half the actual treatment with these pads utilizes the same principal. These pads almost fuse to my foot when it’s time to remove them.


I’m not yet at that point. Yet…

Well since warts are cause by a virus (human papilloma virus, or HPV), it’s accurate enough to call them a disease. My girlfriend in college was plagued by plantar warts, and ended up having a couple of them cut and/or frozen out. I had one or two myself, which I tried dealing with using the Compound W liquid, with roughly the same success – i.e., reduction and then recurrence. Don’t know what happened with hers (we broke up) but in my case, they eventually went away.

I also had a number of occasionally painful warts on my fingers, starting in my college years. The first I noticed was on the outside of my right pinky, right where it contacts the paper or table top when writing – I mistook it for a callous caused by excessive writing for a while, until it continued to grow. A couple of years later, I developed a very large wart on my left thumb, about a half inch above the joint and a half-inch or so from the outside (imagine putting your palms down on a table and then drumming with your thumbs – the wart was right where the thumb and table make contact). I eventually developed progressively smaller warts on each of the other fingers on that hand, each at the point where they would most frequently make contact with the thumb wart during normal activities. The one on the index finger was the largest and most bothersome. The thumb and index finger warts were large and well established by the time I got married eight years ago. I tried pads, liquid, etc to get rid of them, with even less success than before. Over time, the size and sensitivity of each would fluctuate somewhat, and they seemed to have stopped getting bigger and weren’t spreading, so I just decided to live with it.

About nine months ago, I noticed one day that the smallest wart seemed to be gone, and that the others were receding. Within a month or so, they had all vanished completely, so that now there remains only a faintly visible mark on my right pinky, and a little scarring where the very large left thumb wart had been (probably a result of my attempts to dig out the wart in my younger days). I’ve experienced no recurrence of any of them since then.

It’s not surprising that you’re in pain from the Compound W – what you’re doing is essentially using a dilute form of salicylic acid to burn away the wart, but of course you’re also burning away healthy tissue around it as well.

The treatment of choice for warts these days (and I swear I’m not making this up) is duct tape. Cover the wart with a small patch of duct tape for 6 days, clean and debride the wart and surrounding area with an emery board and leave uncovered for a day, then repeat as necessary. In a clinical trial in a military hospital, this treatment regimen was significantly more effective than freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen, and resolved the warts in 85% of the cases.

NB: though not mentioned in the AAFP article, another source recommends using the emery board exclusively for debriding the wart area, pointing out that the skin particles scraped away may still contain active wart virus, and that using the emery board for other purposes might lead to infecting other areas.

Other references, in case you don’t trust the American Academy of Pediatrics:

You better not go barefoot in the garden either, I hear you can get them from stepping on Toads. :wink:

I had a wart like thingie on the top of my little toe, I did the pads for a few days and it came right off.

Well, first of all, I believe you should read the label on your Compound-W package.

It’s been a while since I’ve used concentrated salicylic acid on my body, but I believe the instructions say, a) do not use on plantars or genital warts, and b) discontinue use if the area around the wart becomes affected.

Secondly, you should seek professional medical attention to properly eradicate warts.

Finally, be glad your wart was not on your willie. :eek:

Actually, the pads in my experience don’t work anywhere near as well as the duct tape is reported to. I used the pads for six months or so on my thumb wart, without much positive to report from it (except that instead of being big and ugly, the wart was big, ugly, and painful). I’d lose the pads and go the duct tape route now. Unless you really wanna be in pain for another 6 months.

Yup. Duct Tape.

I had plantars warts several years ago. I went to a dermatologist, and she would shave them off with a razor and then put some sort of solution on them. They would swell into humongoid blood blisters (that was what was supposed to happen). It hurt like hell to walk. It hurt like hell to stand. It hurt like hell to even exist. I missed a good half of my softball games that year due to those hideous blood blisters. The worst part was that the treatment didn’t help me any. The dermatologist kept expecting me to come back and subject myself to excruciating pain. And the warts never went away–in fact, they spread! So I just stopped going to the doctor. Finally, one day they just cleared up by themselves, and I haven’t seen them since.

No, the package specifically is for “foot warts”. They’re supposed to cushion the wart and kill it. All it’s really doing though is making my foot tender and the padding (about the size of a quarter) is irritating my foot from the pressure of the pad against my metatarsal area (did you know it’s rather hard to find this sort of information? Sheesh).

I’m not really interested in going to see a doc over something this minor. As I said, I didn’t have a problem with this wart. Only recently it started to spread (and that was after a few weeks of heavy running in soccer shoes.

I googled the duct tape cure and it seems to work. I’m wondering if I should switch or not. I’ll pick up some duct tape tonight though, incase I become insane over the irritation these pads are causing.

I had one of those decades ago; I ignored it until it was huge. Went to the doctor, who removed it surgically. I had to limp around for about a week until the incision healed up, but I never had another one, ever.

I had several plantar warts on the bottoms of both my feet several years ago. Dug them out with the tip of a nail file thing that comes attached to nail clippers. It worked quite well, although I sometimes get nervous that they might come back.

This is going to be very graphic, so skip ahead if you have a weak stomach. In high school I developed a Plantar’s wart on the ball of my left foot, right at the crease. Man did that son of a bitch hurt! I had my doctor take care of it. Seems easy enough, right?

Nope. Twice he scraped it off and gave me a liquid to apply to the wound to kill the root. Neither time worked so he tried freezing it off with the liquid nitro. Cocksucker still grew back. Now it was time for surgery.

WARNING This is where you may feel queasy.

Laying on my stomach on the table, he stuck a needle into the center of the wart. I don’t give a flip how much childbirth hurts, this has to be right up there. Anyway, after the foot is numb (I’d have preferred general anesthesia) he broke out the electrodes.

Yes, folks, electrodes.

Touching one to the wart, the other was used as a sort of welding system and literally burned it out. Oh, the stench of elecrtrified flesh! Afterwards, I had about a 1/2" deep by 1/8" hole in my foot till it healed over.

FWIW, I’ve never had another wart. (Though that could be cuz my brain is too scared to go through that again and won’t allow any warts to grow)

Not for the squeamish! And on the whole, duct tape is the way to go now.

I pulled my husband’s plantar warts out. The first one he had was about a quarter inch across and it took several tried to get it all. After that he has had a few, each on a different part of his foot. I was able to get all of those in just one or two times ripping it out. I can see the difference between wart and good flesh and it will tear along the border if you pull just right. It is neat to see the bumpy bottom of the wart.

All that freezing and electrocuting do is try to kill the wart infected cells and a little more so that the wart will come off. Acid pretty much the same thing.

Soak and scrape, perhaps the least painful of the non-duct tape methods is a kinder gentler version of my pull the whole thing out approach. Soak the area and scrape, not cut or peel, the area. The idea is to scrape away the dead skin cells the plantar wart is imbedded in and eventually just pop the whole thing off. Soaking makes it all easier to scrape, the dead skin cells and the wart absorb the water and are softer and the connection between the wart and flesh seems weaker. It is tedious, so not many doctors use it. The study (pre ducttape study) said that it is as effective as freezing and burning, and less painful and less likely to lead to infection.

Do keep an eye on these. I did know one woman whose plantar warts took over her foot, getting deeper and wider until it took major surgeries to remove them.

Am I the only one who thought of the SNL ‘commercial’ where people with extra fingers use an acid solution to remove them? It was a parody of wart removal stuff, I think.
(sigh) probably. :frowning: