What is a Plantar Wart?
A plantar wartis a small growth on the foot that develops when the skin is infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Medically referred to as“Verrucas,” these non-cancerous skin outgrowths can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically they appear on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot. Plantar warts can be brown or black in color, hard and flat or bumpy, andcan also grow in clusters.The latter are known as mosaic warts. Although they are harmless and usually disappear on their own in a few days, warts can sometimes be quite painful an irritating, and require immediate treatment. Children, especially teenagers, tend to be more susceptible to warts than adults.
As mentioned above, the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can penetrate the skin through cuts and bruises, is the most common cause of this skin condition. This highly contageous virus is often found in communal showers, public swimming pools, and can spread even through touching. Moreover, sharing athletic or gym facilities, or performing any group activity barefoot, such as yoga or martial arts, puts you at a higher risk of getting infected with this virus. Also, infection can be contracted through sharing personal items, like razors and towels.
The most common symptoms of plantar warts can include:
- Thickened skin. Often a plantar wart resembles a callus because of its tough, thick tissue.
- Pain. Walking and standing may be painful. Squeezing the sides of the wart may also cause pain.
- Tiny black dots. These often appear on the surface of the wart. The dots are actually dried blood contained in the capillaries (tiny blood vessels).
Natural Home Remedies for Plantar Warts
There are many folk remedies that have proved beneficial in removing plantar warts naturally. These are some of them:
1. Duct Tape
This is a highly efficient method of removing warts. First, you soak the wart in warm water then cover it with duct tape, and then exfoliate the wart-affected area. Finally, cover the wart with the tape for about 6 days. Don’t forget to soak your feetevery time before removing the tape. Continue with this treatment for a few months or until the wart is comletely removed.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has proved to be one of the best all-natural treatments for plantar warts. Simply, dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it on the wart. Cover it with a duct tape. Replace it once in every couple of days. Soak your feet in warm water every time you remove the tape.
3. Banana Peel
Put the inner part of banana peel on the wart and simply fix it with a tape.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another efficient folk remedy for plantar warts, especially those on your toes. Apply it frequently to get the desired results.
Crush some onion and apply its juice on the plantar wart. This is another simple method of treating plantar warts effectively.
6. Lemon Essential Oil
A few drops of lemon essential oil on the plantar wart usedfor a few days in a rowcan do wonders for your condition.
7. Aloe Vera Gel
Extract some fresh aloe vera gel and apply it heavily on the affected area as it is quickly absorbed by the skin. Apply it several times a day every day covering it with a tape or bandage until the wart dries off.
The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of garlic are extremely efficient in removal of plantar warts.Just cut a thin slice of garlic and put it on the wart. Fix it with a bandage. Optionally, you can press a garlic oil capsule on the plantar wart. Keep applying it for a month until the wart disappears completely.
9. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is the most common treatment of warts. For one thing, there are many wart-removal products available on the market that contain salicylic acid, including Occlusal and Compound W. Alternatively, soak your feet in lukewarm water for a few minutes before removing the dead cells with a pumice stone. Then, apply the salicylic acid solution on the wart. Do this every day for about 2 months.
Note– Be cautious to protectyour healthy skinfrom getting in touchwith the salicylic acid.
10. Potato Skin
Use the inner part of potato skin to rub on the wart. Do thistwice a day. The wart shoulddisappearinno more than 2 weeks.
11. Cold Water
Soak your foot in some cold water for 12-15 minutes. Dry it afterwards. This will kill the virus and also alleviate the warts.
Homeopathic Treatment for Plantar Warts
Various homeopathic and over-the-counter medicines including some ointments, like podophyllin, are also beneficial for treatment of plantar warts. However, proper precaution must be taken when using these ointments as symptoms need to be identified wellbefore starting homeopathic treatment. Some of the prescribed homeopathic medicines include:
1. Graphites : It is beneficial forremoving corn-like warts on the bottom of your feet and palms.
2. Natrum muriaticum : It is an efficient remedy for warts.
3. Nitricum acidum : It is excellent for treatment of gold-yellow or large warts that bleed or sting and itch on washing.
4. Thuja occidentalis : Several types of warts, especially mosaic warts on the feet are commonly treated with this.
Note- Consult a doctor for proper dosage.
Plantar Wart Remover
Plantar wart removers are also available on the market, and the most popular include:
1. Dr. Scholls Clear Away Wart Remover : Painful warts are quickly soothed with its cushioning pad. This clinically tested medication prevents the wart from spreading while healing in a more subtle way.
2. CVS Plantar Wart Remover : It is another wart remover available on the market thatcontains salicylic acid, which is highly effective in treatment of plantar warts.
Always follow the directions of usage of these wart removers,given on the packaging.
Although plantar warts generally disappear with time, preventing their appearance is solving the problemaforehand. There are several preventive measures to be taken in order to prevent warts, and these include:
1. Avoid Going Barefoot: Warts are veryinfectious and walking barefoot is an easy way of contracting the virus. A lot of public places, like pools, locker rooms, public showers, even the rugs or carpet at hotels, host millions of viruses. Thus, wearing footwear before going out is highly recommended.
2. Try Covering Your Cuts or Bruises: Always cover your cuts and bruises with duct tape as this is the easiest way for a virus to get into your skin.
3. Keep Your Feet Dry: Damp or sweaty skin makes perfect environment for viruses to thrive in, so try to keep your feet dry any time you exercise or jog. If your feet tend to sweat excessively, use some medicated foot powders so asto keep them dry and sweat-free.
4. Avoid Touching Frequently: Touching the affected area of your skin can easily spread the virus to other parts of your body.
5. Wear Clean and Dry Socks: Clean and dry socks is a must. Change them every day in order to prevent infection.
6. Avoid Sharing Personal Items: Use towels and socks of others may also increase yourrisk of getting warts, so avoid these habits as much as possible.