Removing Plantar Warts

November 12, 2012

Removing Plantar Warts

Ever notice a painful, calloused area on your foot? This could be a sign of plantar warts which are caused by a strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Plantar warts can sometimes be difficult to notice because unlike any warts, they often grow inward instead of outward. This means that people may feel an odd lump while they walk or run but cannot see a distinct bump on their foot. The wart may be painful, irritating, or simply uncomfortable. The area is often calloused from the pressure of walking on it and in most cases you can see a black or dark spot in the middle of the area. This is a blood clot which serves as a core of the wart but other than that there is often no physical manifestation of the actual virus.

Causes of Plantar Warts

Contact with the virus is required for any warts to appear. While not everyone will get warts, the more times you run into the virus, the greater your chances of eventually getting them. Spending time barefoot in any wet or damp public place such as a swimming area or sharing footwear with other people will greatly increase the chance of you coming into contact with the particular viral strain. Other risks include cracked and dry feet, weakened immune system, and living with people who have plantar warts.

Treatment Options

Treating plantar warts can be a long and extensive battle depending on how severe the warts are. The bigger the wart has gotten, the harder it can be to get rid of it. There is quite a range of treatment methods available:

  • Cryotherapy:

    This is a very common method for the removal of many types of warts. The procedure is done in a doctor’s office and involves the use of liquid nitrogen. The nitrogen is applied to the wart in order to freeze it. It can be a painful method but it is one of the faster ways to get rid of the wart when successful.

  • Salicylic Acid: The great thing about this method is that salicylic acid can be purchased at the store. Apply the acid daily to the area and rub off the dead skin present at the area. It can be used twice as a day for larger warts. Your foot should be clear in about four weeks but make sure not to get too much acid on clear skin because it can be irritating.

  • Laser removal:

    Laser based surgery which is often painful and expensive but quite effective.

  • Electrodessication: Another surgery that will guarantee removal of the wart but often leaves a scar in place of the warts.

  • Duct tape:

    For this method, a person places duct tape on the affected area and leaves it there for a week. The tape is then removed and the area is washed, dried, and rubbed down with a pumice stone or nail file. The process is then repeated. It can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks for the plantar warts to disappear.

  • Homeopathic remedies:

    There are many books and websites available which can give you a wide range of natural home remedies that are believed to get rid of warts.

Preventing Plantar Warts

The easiest way to deal with warts is to simply take precautions from getting them in the first place. Because the type of HPV that causes plantar warts thrives in wet areas, it is important to wear sandals or another type of footwear when walking through public areas such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and showering areas. After you get your feet wet, take the time to thoroughly dry every part of your foot. It is also important to avoid people that you know have the warts because of how easily they can spread. If you do happen to get a wart, do not touch it and seek some sort of treatment immediately so that more warts do not just keep appearing.


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