How to Remove a Plantar Wart at Home
What Is a Plantar Wart?
Plantar warts are benign skin growths that occur on the bottom of your feet. According to the Mayo Clinic, plantar warts occur when the human papillomavirus enters the skin through a crack or a cut. The virus multiplies in warm, moist areas, such as shower floors, a locker room, or a public swimming area. Therefore, going barefoot in these places can cause you to become infected. A plantar wart grows inward and shows up as a white or off-white spot at a place that is subjected to the pressure of standing or walking. Sometimes, the presence of clotted blood vessels causes tiny dark specks to appear on the wart. Plantar warts frequently make standing or walking a painful experience. Plantar warts are easily distinguished from other kinds of warts because they only appear on the bottom of the foot and they grow inward, not outward.
You should not use the below-mentioned methods if you have diabetes, nerve damage in your feet, or if your immune system is in any way compromised.
There are two major treatments that you can buy for at-home removal of plantar warts. One of them is a cryogenic method that is based on freezing the wart at a temperature well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and the other uses an organic compound called salicylic acid that is applied most commonly as a liquid or an adhesive patch. Cryogenic products available over the counter include Wartner and Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away Wart Remover.
Before treatment, it is a good idea to soak the wart in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes, and then scrape the wart with a pumice stone to fully expose it. The cryogenic material is sprayed from a can onto a small cylindrical sponge for application to the plantar wart. You place the sponge directly onto the wart for 10 to 20 seconds if the wart is on less callused portions of the foot. For callused areas such as the heel or ball of the foot, you hold the sponge on the wart for a maximum of 40 seconds. It is important to adhere to the prescribed times so you don't freeze the skin tissue too deeply. As the cold penetrates into the wart, you will probably feel some degree of pain. In many cases, a single treatment is all that is needed to kill the wart, and in one to ten days it will eject from the skin. After about ten days, if the wart is still present, you can treat it again in the same way as described. If you find that after three treatments the wart is still there, you should consult your doctor.
One of the over-the-counter salicylic acid treatments involves using a small, circular patch that adheres directly to the plantar wart and is fixed in place with a band-aid or other external covering. The patch remains in place for 48 hours. Before applying the patch, you should soak your foot and scrape the area over the wart with a pumice stone. You can repeat the procedure every 48 hours for up to 12 weeks until the wart is killed. Often times, you will know the wart has been killed because when you remove the patch, the wart will stick to it. From my personal experience, I can say that the salicylic acid patch method is painless. There is also a liquid formulation of salicylic acid that is sold without a prescription, and you normally apply this to the plantar wart twice a day.
This hub has been written for the sole purpose of providing information to the reader. It is not intended to be a source of any kind of medical advice or instruction, and it should not be used in the diagnosis of any illness, disease, or condition. You should consult your doctor if you have questions about a specific medical problem.