Everyone wants to have those nice, soft, touchable feet that look fantastic in your favourite shoes. However, your pesky plantar wart is keeping you from ever revealing your feet to the world.
Let’s face it: plantar warts are not pretty. They can be painful, embarrassing, and can make other people generally uncomfortable.
These stubborn warts can be a huge challenge to get rid of, however, there is hope for you to finally rid of your plantar wart.
1. What causes a plantar wart?
The plantar wart is a wart caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) occurring on the sole or even toes of the foot. Note that HPV infections in other parts of the body are not plantar in nature.
This infection is most often caused by barefoot exposure to moist surfaces such as pool decks or in locker room showers.
These warts are actually quite common, occurring in an estimated 7-10% of the United States population.
2. How do I know it’s a plantar?
Plantar warts are actually quite distinct from other types of warts, making them relatively easy to recognize.
The warts are usually embedded in the foot, and don’t stick out much (although this is possible). They are typically a white to off-white colour, with black tiny spots. They have a very rough, hard texture. The warts can vary in size.
If you are still unsure if you have a plantar wart, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
3. Duct tape method.
Getting rid of plantar warts naturally can be very difficult. It can also take quite a long time (weeks or even months). However, it is possible to do.
The first, and rather well known at-home treatment involves the use of duct tape. To prepare your foot for treatment, take a pumice stone, and file down the wart. Try to get it as reduced as possible without breaking the surrounding skin.
Cut a piece of duct tape that is just slightly larger than the wart itself. Place is directly on the wart, and press it down until it is stuck firmly.
Wear the duct tape over the wart for about a week’s time. If possible, try to avoid getting your foot wet during this time. Also, try to wear socks whenever possible for an extra protective layer.
Once the week is up, carefully remove the duct tape (which has helped to dry out the area), and soak your foot in warm water for about five minutes. After this, grab your pumice stone and file away as much of the roughness as possible.
This entire process may need to be repeated a few weeks in a row in order to see full results.
4. The Salicylic acid treatment.
This is another great method for you to try out in your own home. This method is as simple as purchasing the right product, and following the directions on the package.
There are a variety of easily accessible, over-the-counter salicylic acid treatments out there. You can find these at almost any grocery or drug store. These typically cost $15-$40 per package. If you aren’t sure which one to go with, your doctor, or a knowledgeable sales rep for advice.
Once you are ready to use the product, follow the directions precisely. This treatment may take a few weeks to show satisfying results.
5. When is it time to see a professional?
It’s important to recognize when it’s time to give up the at-home treatments, and see a doctor about this issue. You should seek the help of a doctor if: your wart hasn’t gone away or reduced after three weeks, the wart is spreading, or the wart is bleeding or draining pus.
Keep on reading to discover your physician treatment options.
6. More aggressive acid peels.
Unfortunately, over-the-counter acid treatments aren’t as aggressive as the ones that you can request from most physicians.
Bichloracetic and trichloracetic acid are among the peels most often used by professionals.
Talk to your doctor about the different acid peel options. This option will likely require multiple office visits, however, should be faster at ridding of your wart when compared to over-the-counter treatments.
7. Surgical options.
If no other treatments are showing results, having your plantar wart surgically removed is a realistic option for you. The surgery involves the cutting away of the wart, and electric needles to kill the infected tissue surrounding it.
If your plantar wart is quite sizeable, your doctor may offer the option of laser surgery. This option is usually seen as a last resort due to the high pain level, and the extensity of time it takes to complete.
The area will is likely to be in pain for at least a week after the removal. Surgery is likely to leave a scar, however, is often your best option for long-term results.
8. Discuss Cryotherapy.
Another professional treatment option to consider is cryotherapy. This particular method uses liquid nitrogen to completely dry-freeze your wart. This is done with hopes that a blister will form and eventually heal and fall off, taking your wart (or part of it) with it.
This option is also rather painful, however, some doctors may offer you a form of local anesthetic to make the process a little bit more bearable.
This may not completely remove your wart in one go, but it has been proven a rather effective method.
9. Working on prevention!
Once you’ve finally gotten rid of that plantar wart, it’s essential that you take the right steps toward prevention of getting them again. I’m sure you’re willing to do just about anything to avoid going through a painful removal process ever again, so here are some tips.
Of course, avoid contact with anyone who has these warts. Although they are not highly contagious, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keep your feet clean. Wash them with soapy, warm water at least every other day. Also, wear clean socks and shoes every single day.
Keep your feet dry. This is an important one. Never walk around in sweaty or soaked shoes. When walking on damp surfaces like a pool deck or locker room shower floor, protect your feet with water-resistant flip flops or water shoes.
Be sure not to touch or use anything that touched your feet when you had your warts. Throw out any pumice stone or files after using them.
Wash any used socks with extra hot water to ensure that you can’t contract the infection again. Wash any shoes that came into contact with your feet, if possible. If you can’t wash them, and you aren’t too attached, it may be safer to just throw them away.
The good news is that you don’t have to live with this unpleasant war forever. Although removal can be a long, and even painful process, find the treatment that works for you and stick with it. You’ll be back having soft, touchable feet before you know it! Best of luck.