Introduction: Plantar Warts are common, painful and contagious. Because of their deep roots, self treatment with topical creams and jels are often very slow and commonly unsuccessful. Surgical Excision or Cautery is very painful, can leave permanent tender scars and often lead to relapse because of the kobner phenomenon which warts demonstrate. Cryosurgery is a quick, low cost, highly successful treatment for Plantar Warts which can be safely carried out in general practice.
Method: We analyze the results of treating 100 consecutive patients with 514 Plantar Warts by one General Practitioner over a sixteen month period. All patients were followed up to analyse the success rate, the relapse rate and any complications. Other relevant data such as age, sex, number of plantar warts, types of plantar warts, size and position of plantar warts were also recorded and analysed.
Results: 505 Plantar Warts in 96 patients were considered suitable for treatment using liquid nitrogen cryosurgery via a Bymill cryogun. Most of those were treated by spraying the liquid nitrogen down an auroscope cone after debulking the plantar wart under local anesthetic. 422 Plantar Warts(84%) cleared completely with one single treatment of cryosurgery. A further 30 (6%) cleared with two treatments and another 15 (3%) cleared with tree treatments using liquid nitrogen cryosurgery. In total 467 plantar warts (92%) cleared completely using cryosurgery in this survey which included 16 mosaic plantar warts. 422 (90%) of these plantar warts cleared with one single treatment. No patient had to be referred to hospital for treatment of their plantar warts in this series. There were no serious complications of treatment.
Conclusion: This study highlights the advantages of cryosurgery for treating Plantar Warts in general practice. This technique is quick, safe, highly successful, has low relapse rate, leaves no scars and is extremely cost effective.