Is It Safe to Cut Out My Plantar Wart Myself?
The plantar wart on your foot has begun to hurt worse than ever. It also seems to be getting bigger. You know warts are contagious and you don’t want this one to start spreading to more parts of your feet. You want it gone. But where do you begin? Do you have to see a doctor to cut out a plantar wart? Or is it something you can do yourself? If you do it, what’s the procedure? How do you get out the roots of it? How do you keep it from spreading? Is a plantar wart dead tissue, or is cutting it out going to hurt?
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Should I Cut Out My Plantar Wart?
Plantar warts grow primarily on the bottom of your feet, but can also appear on your toes or other parts of your feet. Warts are usually painless, but plantar warts can be so painful that they impair your ability to walk. That’s because you are putting pressure on them with movement. Although warts will eventually go away with no treatment, individuals often choose to cut out plantar warts to relieve their pain. There’s information on the various kinds of plantar wart treatment here.
The basic procedure for cutting out warts is the same as any other surgical procedure. It includes:
- Disinfecting the surrounding skin.
- Anesthetizing the area to be cut.
- Removing the growth.
- Bandaging the woun.
Removing a wart leaves a hole, or crater, which isn’t usually stitched.
If you possibly can, it’s best to have a medical professional perform the surgery. For a variety of reasons, however, many individuals choose to cut out their plantar warts themselves. Doing so is not recommended and it can be very risky. If you choose to remove the wart yourself, keep in mind that you are actually performing surgery.
Cutting out a plantar wart is surgery. As much as you might want to do the surgery yourself, don’t if you:
- Are pregnant.
- Are unsure whether the growth is a wart or something else.
- Have a compromised immune system.
- Have diabetes or other condition that impairs your circulation.
- Have several warts that are close together.
- Have a very large wart.
Any of these circumstances can keep you from healing properly and you can end up with complications that might require medical attention. You can learn about plantar wart removal in this article.
Before You Start
Sterilize your tools, like clippers, knife, scissors, or a scalpel, in boiling water. It’s also a good idea to dip them in rubbing alcohol. You’ll also need something like iodine or Betadine on hand to disinfect the area around your wart, and an antibiotic ointment to apply post-op.
Have an ample supply of sterile cotton balls or similar materials nearby to soak up blood. You’ll also need adequate gauze and tape to cover the wound when you’re done.
Because of the pressure you put on your feet when you walk, a plantar wart is often recessed in your skin rather than protruding as warts normally do. You may have a callus or dead skin surrounding it. Some warts have a blister-like covering of dead skin over them. Try soaking your foot in water to soften the callus or surrounding skin before proceeding. You must make sure your hands and feet are scrupulously clean. After washing thoroughly, apply rubbing alcohol and let air dry.
How Do I Cut Out a Plantar Wart?
If you can, you need to remove any skin that’s built up around the wart. You may be able to do that with a pair of tweezers once the skin is softened. Some people use nail clippers rather than tweezers, but it’s better to avoid doing so. You can easily damage healthy skin with nail clippers.
Apply a disinfectant to your foot. Use the best that you can purchase at any pharmacy. Disinfectants and antibiotics won’t kill warts, but they can help keep you from getting a secondary bacterial infection.
The center part of the wart is called the core. You may notice little black dots in the wart core that look like little seeds. Those are called petechiae. They aren’t seeds and they won’t cause you to grow more warts. They are ends of blood vessels, and they are going to bleed when you cut out your wart.
If you have a problem with blood, you might as well make an appointment with your health care professional. You can expect a lot of bleeding when you cut out a wart. You also don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to anesthesia for do-it-yourself surgery. At the least, try to numb the area with ice. Again, if you have a low pain threshold, you’re well advised to consult a professional. He or she will anesthetize your foot to minimize pain, and, if needed, you’ll receive something for post-op pain.
Cutting Out A Plantar Wart Isn’t For Everyone
Certain individuals should never try do-it-yourself surgery. These include those:
- With a vision impairment.
- With shaky hands or feet.
- Who are impatient.
- Who aren’t able to do delicate procedures.
You also need to have good lighting. It’s much too easy to damage healthy skin, cut too deep, or not remove all of the wart.
Do You Dig Out Plantar Warts?
Now you’re ready to remove your wart. You are not going to dig it out. You’ve been given poor advice if someone has told you to dig out any wart. Digging means you’re likely going to remove the wart in bits and pieces. Not only will you probably not get it all out, you’re potentially going to cause lots more warts to grow. That’s because warts are caused by a virus and the wart itself is full of virus-infected cells. If you want to know are plantar warts contagious, the answer is here.
Digging also implies that warts have roots. Many people believe they do, but medical professionals know that warts do not have roots. They also know that warts do not attach to deeper layers of skin or to bones. Warts can grow only in the top layer of skin. They have smooth and round bottoms. They appear to grow deeper because the bottom portion is pushed downward through the second layer of skin.
When you cut out a plantar wart, you are scooping it out rather than digging it out. The sharper the cutting instrument, the easier the surgery will be. If you’ve scooped it out correctly, the wart will be in one piece. It will not be cut into at all. You will have a round hole in your foot where the wart was. There should not be ragged-looking or torn tissue.
What Happens After I Cut Out a Plantar Wart?
You will have lots of blood. You are also going to feel pain. The second layer of skin, which is what you’re seeing after the wart is gone, is full of nerves and blood vessels. You cut through them when you scooped out the wart. Do what you can to staunch the bleeding. You’ll probably need to apply pressure to get your blood to start clotting.
When you have stopped the bleeding, apply an antibiotic cream such as Neosporin, then bandage the wound. You won’t be stitching the hole in your foot. Depending on the size of the wart and how deep you had to go to remove it, the hole may heal without leaving a scar. Wart removal, however, often leaves scars whether done by a professional or self-surgery.
Above all else, keep the wound clean. Change the bandage frequently. Try to stay off your feet for as long as you can to give your wound a better chance of healing quickly.
What Are the Risks of Cutting Out a Plantar Wart?
Cutting out a plantar wart is risky.
You will potentially experience:
- Excessive bleeding,
- Inability to walk.
There is always a risk in any surgery, even when performed by a professional, but complications are far more difficult to manage after do-it-yourself surgery. Avoid using the scissors, knives, or other instruments anywhere else on your body after using them to remove a wart.
There’s little doubt that you’ll experience a relief from pain when your plantar wart is surgically removed. Although you can cut your wart out yourself, it’s usually better to consult a physician. Keep in mind that warts come and go on their own schedule. Cutting out a plantar wart, even by a professional, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the end of it. It can recur soon after the surgery, years later, or never again. Cutting out one plantar wart also won’t stop others from growing in other places on your feet.
You can find further details of Plantar warts here.