Treating Plantar Warts with Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine have a long history of treating a variety of dermatological conditions, such as warts. Even though ancient Chinese doctors may not have understood the viral nature of this disease, their treatments are equally successful to eliminate the condition as modern Western methods.
What Are Plantar Warts?
Warts are a contagious skin condition caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus can cause warts anywhere on the body; however, when the warts appear on the sole of the foot they are referred to as Plantar Warts. While the condition is harmless and plantar warts tend to heal on their own, some individuals may experience pain or other discomfort due to the location of the warts. Seeking treatment can decrease the duration of the condition, and reduce re-occurrences by helping keeping the virus in a latent state.
Plantar warts are commonly contracted from walking barefoot on wet surfaces of communal bathing areas, such as locker rooms and showers. Immunity to the virus that causes planter warts is built over time; therefore, mainly adolescents and younger adults experience this condition. It is important to check your children’s feet often to identify the condition and prevent the spreading of the infection.
How Can Chinese Medicine Treat Plantar Warts?
In Chinese Medicine, warts are referred to as ‘thousand-day sores’, reflecting the typical duration of the condition. There are a variety of treatment methods available including Acupuncture, Moxibustion, and Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Acupuncture treatment for warts is performed to destroy the infected skin cells. Acupuncture needles can be inserted to surround the wart and lift the area, allowing additional needles to reach beneath the infection. This treatment will help the body’s natural defense mechanism attack the infection as the needles guide healing Qi to the area.
Alternatively, some Acupuncturists may try another approach. By examining the warts on your foot, you may notice small blacks dots in the center area of the wart; these are the ends of blood vessels that provide nourishment to the wart. By needling directly into these vessels, the blood supply can be disrupted, shortening the duration of the condition.
Moxibusion is a treatment technique of burning moxa, a wool-like substance made primarily from the herb Ai Ye, or artemisia argyi. It is commonly used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment by burning the herb on the end of an acupuncture needle or directly on the skin. Moxibustion can be very effective in the treatment of warts by burning small cones of moxa directly on the skin. A healing herbal burn cream is subsequently applied to the affected area. Once the small burn heals, new healthy skin should return.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioners may utilize either external or internal administration of herbs to control the condition. External herbal treatments include the use of Ya Dan Zi, also known as brucea javanica. This herb can be ground into a paste and applied directly to the wart. Other more complex herbal formulas can also be used externally by being made into washes or pastes.
Internal herbal treatment focuses more on a combination of the individual’s constitution and condition. Bring the body into balance and enhancing the immune system can help you overcome the chronic condition and clear the infection. Depending on the health of the individual, a variety of Chinese herbal formulas may be prescribed for treatment.
Finding an Acupuncturist or Chinese Herbalist
If you are currently suffering from plantar warts, you can help shorten the duration of your condition with Chinese Medicine. Find an Acupuncturist or Chinese Medicine Herbalist in your area to receive treatment today!