Plantar warts are growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and typically occur on the sole, toes, or heel of the foot. They are hard and grainy in texture and, given the locations in which they occur – places where the pressure is in force – they may sometimes grow inward, beneath a layer of skin. Most plantar warts do not pose a serious threat to your health, even as they may cause discomfort and pain in some cases. Therefore, you have the option to choose from numerous medical treatments and self-help techniques that help treat plantar warts. Keep reading to learn more about at-home remedies for plantar warts as well as specific procedures.
This technique is a treatment methodology which requires the expertise of an experienced doctor. Cryotherapy involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen either using a spray or a swab. It is often performed after numbing the affected region since liquid nitrogen could be painful on application otherwise. The nitrogen causes a blister to form around the wart which sloughs off in about a week. You might have to make several visits to the doctor before complete healing takes place though.
One of the most common at-home treatments employed in treating plantar warts, salicylic acid may be bought over-the-counter in liquid or patch form. Depending upon the size and depth of the mole, one may either apply the formulation over it daily or in some cases even twice a day. You can also consult with your medical provider about how to use this product to treat a plantar wart.
If salicylic acid does not provide adequate results, one may go in for stronger acidic remedies; however, you need a medical professional to prescribe and administer such treatments. Mostly, doctors apply solutions of bichloracetic acid or trichloroacetic to the wart, though it may still take several visits for the wart to heal completely. Side effects may include mild burning or stinging sensation in the affected area, though no scarring occurs if done correctly.
A lot of doctors recommend immunotherapy for those patients who are highly prone to having plantar warts. This method introduces medical solutions to your body, which stimulate the immune system to fight against viral warts. An antigen injection at the site of the wart along with cream may be necessary to fulfill the same purpose.
Innovations in medical technology have made laser treatments an accessible means of removing stubborn warts. Such therapies use pulsed-dye lasers to cauterize tiny blood vessels that nourish warts. The infected tissue is thus destroyed and eventually falls off. However, the chances of pain and scarring are higher than other methods, and professionals contest the efficacy of laser treatment over other methods.
For removal of warts, some doctors may suggest the surgical route where the wart is cut off or destroyed using an electric needle. In recent times, this method has lost popularity since it tends to be painful without local anesthesia and scarring occurs in most cases. Other treatment techniques are deemed more effective with fewer side effects by most experts.
There are many over-the-counter medications as topical treatments available in the market today. Most of them are creams or gels which combine salicylic acid with other chemicals with wart-reduction properties in different ratios. You may use an ointment recommended by your physician and expect to see results in a few weeks, especially if the wart is small and shallow.
One of the classic home remedies for warts is covering it with duct tape and leaving it for a week at periodic intervals. This method is supposed to reduce the size of warts over time until they are entirely gone. In recent times, people might question the efficacy of this duct tape technique because some people believe that shallow, small warts heal by themselves in four to eight weeks regardless. So, it is unclear if the duct tape either fastens or aids the process. Some people swear by it nonetheless.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known to have numerous medicinal properties. One of those remedies is the ability to reduce the size and callus of plantar warts. You can soak your feet in warm water followed by a using a vinegar-soaked cotton ball on the wart. Next, cover it with duct tape for about 2-3 days. Then repeat the process periodically, but make sure you soak your feet between each cycle. If you feel any pain or burning during this process remove the cotton ball and rinse your skin with water.
Other Home Remedies
There are various other organic substances such as tea tree oil, onion juice, lemon essential oil, Aloe Vera, and garlic which you can use for treating warts. Applying these substances may show results, but usually, you need to be patient because they take longer to be perceptible. They are a good option if one wants to avoid medical and laser treatments though.