What to Expect from Plantar Wart Treatment
Foot warts, also known as plantar warts, can be a major pain. Sometimes the pain is literal, if the wart is in an awkward spot that’s exposed to constant pressure or friction. But even if there’s no actual physical discomfort, they’re still unsightly, annoying, and potentially embarrassing. Oh, and they can easily multiply and spread, too.
The good news is that treating your warts is not also a pain—at least not anymore! We’ve recently added a state-of-the-art new technology called Swift Therapy to our practice, and it’s made the entire experience of wart treatment much more convenient and pleasant for all involved.
But since this is a new technology, we figure you probably have many questions. (This is especially true if you’ve ever had to get a wart frozen off, burned off, or cut out before—yeowch!) Good news: we have answers!
Below, check out our quick wart treatment FAQ. If you have any additional questions, we’d be happy to go over them with you at your next appointment.
What Is Swift Therapy?
This is an immunotherapy procedure that uses a short burst of microwaves to treat plantar warts. This only takes a couple of seconds, but it’s enough to gently heat the upper layers of skin to treat the damaged tissue and, more importantly, help the immune system target the viral infection. With the immune system now able to attack the wart from the inside out more efficiently, the virus eventually succumbs and the wart disappears.
Does Swift Therapy Hurt?
Swift is, by far, the least painful professional wart treatment overall.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t feel any discomfort at all during the application of the microwaves. For some people, this may feel like a pinch or a “fast and hot” sensation, with a pain level roughly similar to getting an injection.
However, the application only takes 2-3 seconds, and the pain goes away essentially immediately after it is complete. There is no post-procedural pain or discomfort whatsoever—and also no bleeding.
Is Swift Therapy Safe?
Yes, it’s completely safe! The word “microwave” might initially give you some pause, but there’s nothing to worry about.
First, microwaves are “non-ionizing,” which just means they’re a type of radiation that doesn’t have enough “power per photon” to alter atomic or molecular structures. Microwaves are even safer than X-rays, which are already very safe. And second, the dosage you get from the Swift applicator is very small. We’re not heating up leftovers here! Just heating up the top layers of skin enough to pique the interest of your immune system.
That being said, there are a small number of situations where Swift isn’t recommended. In general we do not perform the procedure on people with pacemakers, or who have metal implants in the vicinity of their warts. We’ll confirm with you at your initial appointment to make sure Swift will be safe and effective.
What Can I Expect During My Appointment?
It’s very fast and simple, and includes only two steps.
The first step is preparation of the wart, which takes a few minutes. All we do is lightly debride the upper layers of the wart in order to ensure we can get good contact between the Swift applicator and your skin. This doesn’t hurt at all.
The second step is the microwave application itself, which is described above.
And that’s it! There’s nothing to bandage and no aftercare steps to go over, apart from the basic wart advice (don’t touch it, don’t pick at it, change your socks regularly, etc.). You just put your socks and shoes back on and walk out the door.
How Many Appointments Will I Need? How Long Before I See Results?
The recommended treatment course for Swift therapy is three sessions, spaced about a month apart from each other. Since the first session takes place during your initial appointment, that means we’ll be scheduling two additional follow-ups, for a total treatment duration of about two months.
However, not everyone will need the full three sessions. In particular, kids often only need one or two appointments. If you notice that your warts have cleared before all your sessions are complete, just give us a call and we’ll cancel the rest of your appointments.
Remember, you won’t see improvement immediately after your first session, because the immune system does need time to work. The follow-ups, if needed, will help give your immune system an extra boost to re-engage in the fight, since white blood cells typically only have a life cycle of a couple of weeks in your bloodstream.
Are There Any Other Advantages of Swift Therapy I Should Know About?
Well, besides the fact that it’s fast, easy, safe, has no post-procedural pain and no home aftercare to worry about, another big advantage is the fact that it “trains” your immune system to recognize and organize against the virus that causes warts.
In short, this means that once your warts are gone, they’re more likely to stay gone. Treatments that are more destructive and less discriminating in nature, like liquid nitrogen and surgery, have higher recurrence rates.
What About Other Wart Treatments? Do You Still Offer Them?
For almost everyone—including kids and seniors—Swift Therapy is going to be our most recommended treatment option for plantar warts. Compared to more conventional treatments, it has many significant advantages and virtually no disadvantages. More than 4 out of 5 patients get excellent results.
That said, other treatment options (including surgery) may be considered if your warts fail to clear up even after 3-4 sessions of Swift therapy.
What’s the Next Step?
Glad you asked! Just give our office a call today at (816) 246-4222, or complete the contact form below. One of our staff members will follow up with you to schedule an appointment so we can help you get your warts under control.
If you’ve been looking for a swift solution to your foot warts, you’ve found it. We look forward to seeing you soon.