Posted on: April 7, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 10

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.

10 People reacted on this

  1. I have discovered that lemons also work well in removing a plantar wart. My daughter had a large one and a co-worker mentioned that her mother used cut up lemons directly on the wart and it would then go away. With only this information and a supply of free lemons I figured that I had nothing to lose. Each day at bedtime I put about 1/4 of a lemon, cut side to the skin on the wart and gently wrapped my daughter’s foot with an ace bandage to hold the lemon in place. Each morning we removed the bandage and lemon piece, rinsed off the foot and sent my daughter off to school with her regular socks and shoes. After about 10 days we went away for a long weekend and did not treat the wart. It looked like a callus had formed and when we returned home we cut away the callus and there was nothing but new, pink skin.

    An acquaintance that is a plastic surgeon said that the acid in the lemon probably just ate away the wart. He also mentioned that a good scrubbing with a brush with antibacterial soap like a surgeon does before entering surgery would remove any wart over time.

    My daughter & I liked the lemon approach as it was free and to her, like magic ;o)

  2. Using a “wart off” can be effective? There’s plenty of warts in my hands and it makes me uncomfortable everytime I’m in the public places.

  3. I use to have planter warts everywhere on my feet. Then one day my aunt sent my mom and email about the powers of a banana. The trick is to use the banana peel (the inside piece not the yellow outside) and put it on the wart or warts. I only did this three times for 15 to 20 minutes and they went away so fast and it didn’t even hurt.

    I also heard that if you put duck tape on the wart the chemicals in the tape will eat the wart away.

    Hope this helps :]

  4. Nail polish– and it took only about a month for mine to clear up completely. It works how the duct tape is supposed to (the tape I could never keep stuck to my feet): by preventing air from penetrating the wart. I had gone through many years of different treatments, from freezing it with home kits, at the doctors with the more powerful stuff, duct tape, and various homeopathic remedies.

  5. I had one of these warts (shown in picture above), on my hand years ago. I don’t know why it was on my hand. It was on my palm positioned below my little finger.

    I got rid of it by carefully plucking out the little black seed like things from the center core with tweezers, and then putting menthol rub in the center and bandaging it. I put the menthol rub on it daily and bandaged it. Whenever the little seed like things would reform in it, I kept plucking them out. I did this repeatedly for about 2 weeks.

    Then one day, I noticed the wart’s bumpy core bed was coming loose and I grabbed it with my tweezers and worked on pulling it out of the center. To my surprise it came out clean leaving the rim of the wart only. The center core underneath was fresh clean new pink skin. At no time during my treatment, did it ever bleed or ooze anything. It took the rim of the wart about a week to close up. I believe that I irritated the wart so much that it just died.

    To this day, it has never come back and there is NO scar. You can’t see any evidence that there was anything there other then my smooth normal skin.

  6. Suffered from a wart on my foot for over 10 years.I had it froze off, surgical removal,laser treatment and anything else i heard about.Finally i tried applying super glue on my wart. after applying super glue several times for 4 weeks my wart was gone.I went through all that pain for so many years not to mention all the procedures I finally got rid of it with a $2 dollar tube of super glue.

  7. I first realized I had a small black dot on my right heel in July, 2010. I was 11 and scared to tell a parent. It began getting larger so I told my mom. She explained that we could try a Dr. Scholls kit with round disks to put on it. I used it religiously for the alloted time span with no result. Then around September, 2010 I realized I was getting one one my big toe on my right foot. We decided it was time to try freezing it. So we purchased another Dr. Schools kit called Freeze Away. This had better results, but was very painful and didn’t get my warts off completely. It just decreased the size. I didn’t know what to do. Around November, 2010 one popped up on my left heel and in December, 2010 4 emerged on my big toe on my right foot, next to the other one. We tried organic apple cinder vinegar, duct tape, banana, and lemons. Nothing was working. We thought I might need surgery to kill these nasty predators. But then, I learned about nail polish. Plantar warts need air to live and by putting a glob of nail polish over then they can’t survive. I left it on for a week, and dug my nail into the side of each one and it just popped out with no pain at all. I love this method and highly recommend it.

  8. Make sure you see a doctor right away! I left mine for 10 years, and last year finally tried self treatment. This resulted in spreading it all over my feet and on my finger that guided the pumice stone. Should have went to the dermatologist right away, now I have several months – even years- of treatment ahead. If you read around, you’ll read that they will go away on their own, but after 10 years and gaining a “mosaic”, I suggest you don’t challenge that theory.

  9. Just use mediplast and tape, it is easy and pain free. It can take sometime but sometimes it is gone in 3 weeks. I found it was best to remove the tape in the shower after a few days and then trim the skin and re-apply. I have literally tried everything and that was the only thing that ever really worked. If they are really bad, a dermatologist is probably your only hope though.

  10. I just turned 12 and I have had planters warts since around december and at first my mom thought it was a callous but it kept spreading and got hard and painful. I tried the medicated discs , didnt work one bit. Then we called the foot doctor and they tried freezing them off did not work. Then they gave me the salyic acid to put on every night didnt work. They are sugesting laser srugery which I dont want at all. So I just read the comment up top and heard about nail polish, just applied some on now hoping it works! My suggestion for anybody who is going through the pain I am with planters warts is call your foot doctor RIGHT away because they spread real fast! Ps: freezing doesnt hurt, I had read on a couple sites that it does but its pain free trust me. :]

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