How to Remove Foot Warts: Plantar Wart Treatment
For the most part, warts are going to be harmless and can disappear on their own if given enough time. They may not be fun to look at and some can make exercise and walking painful if they happen to show up on the bottom of your feet. When this happens, you may want to consider whether it is time to remove them.
Wart removal can sometimes prove to be tricky for a lot of people. The good news is that some of the treatments that tend to be the most effective are often the least invasive as well. Warts will grow on the epidermis, or the upper layer of the skin, and being able to get them off that layer will make a big difference.
No one wants to have foot warts stay around for longer than necessary.
They are unsightly and not a lot of fun to deal with. And they can cause a lot of pain when you try to walk around with them on your foot. Let’s take a closer look at what these warts are and how you can get them to go away.
What are Foot Warts?
Warts are going to happen when the cells of the skin are going to grow faster than they should, usually because they have become infected with HPV. There are about 150 strains of HPV and 10 of them are going to cause issues to the skin, such as warts.
Even if we don’t realize it, all of us will repeatedly come into contact with HPV during our lives. Contrary to popular belief, we can contract HPV when we touch a doorknob or shake hands with someone else, and HPV is so common that almost everyone will contract the virus at least once in their lives. Only a few will develop warts, or any symptom at all, and it is hard to know who is going to be one of the people who will see these show up, much less on the foot.
Warts are pretty common, but they are not that contagious. It will require some direct contact to see it happen. When you get a plantar wart, it is likely that you walked barefoot across a surface where someone else with the condition walked barefoot as well. When you have a plantar wart, it is important to wear clean socks, and shoes when possible, to help reduce the spread of the virus. It is also suggested to wash your hands thoroughly every time you have to touch a wart.
What are the Common Types of Foot Warts?
There are several types of warts that you need to be aware of to help you understand how they work. These include:
- Common: These will be raised, rough surfaces and are found mostly on the hands, though it is possible to see them appear in other locations around the body. The ones that appear around the toenails and fingernails can be difficult to treat.
- Plantar: This one will look like a rough and spongy surface and it is only going to show up on the soles of the feet. If there is a cluster of them, it will be known as mosaic warts.
- Flat: These are slightly raised or flat and often smooth and pink. You can find them on the shins, hands, and faces. These are not as common as other warts, but they can appear in large numbers when they do show up.
We are going to focus on how to handle plantar warts, but you will find that all of these warts are going to be treated through similar methods.
Treatments for Foot Warts
There are a few different treatments that you can consider when it is time to work on removing warts on your feet. Most of these will be simple to work with and will include:
Salicylic Acid Can Help With Foot Warts
This is one of the main ingredients in your aspirin and it is a good first choice to help make things easier to deal with when it comes to your warts. This is the only type of topical treatment that you can choose for your wats that will do better than the placebo in studies. It is a good idea to make sure that you pick a concentration between 17 to 40%.
To make this treatment work, you need to soak the wart for 10 to 15 minutes, either in a bath or a shower or you can soak it in a bowl of water. You can then file away the skin that has the wart using a pumice stone or an emery board and then apply the acid to the area and let it dry in that place.
You should do this at least once a day for 12 weeks for the best results. This is going to take some time but can be an effective treatment. Since the wart is going to be on some thick skin on the bottom of the foot, you may want to look into a patch to see if that will help out too. You need to continue the treatment for a week or two after the wart goes away.
Freezing Can Remove Foot Warts
The second option that you can consider is freezing or cryotherapy. In this one, you will work with a clinician who will use a swab or sprays liquid nitrogen onto the wart and some of the area around it. With this extreme cold, you will burn the skin, causing pain and a blister. But the wart will be removed at the same time.
This treatment will often need three or four treatments, one every two to three weeks. Doing more than this is often not going to be effective or help you get the best results. Adding cryotherapy and salicylic acid together in a treatment can often be the most effective here.
How to Remove Foot Warts With Duct Tape
The findings on this one will be a bit mixed but you will find that duct tape can work for some patients. In one study, subjects would wear a patch of duct tape over the wart for six days. They would then remove the patches, soak and file the wart, and let them be uncovered overnight before putting the tape back on when they woke up.
This is a method to try if the others are not working, but it is not seen as the most effective option to help you see results and give your feet the very best.
Remove Foot Warts With Cutting and Zapping
The medical name for this one is known as electrodesiccation and curettage. Using some local anesthesia, the clinician will be able to dry the wart with an electric needle and can then scrape it away.
This can cause some scarring and is reserved for a patient who may have tried some of the other methods and have not been able to get it removed. It can remove the wart and stop some of the pain at the same time, giving you a lot of relief and making it easier to walk around, and improving your overall mobility.
Working with the Right Professionals to Remove Foot Warts
If you notice that the treatments listed above are not providing you with the relief that you need, it may be time to call in the professionals to help out. You can take our free analysis to help determine what type of orthotics will be best for you.
Plantar warts are a common foot problem that we see in the profession, and while custom orthotics cannot technically treat the issue, they can relieve the pain that comes with walking with plantar warts. Walking around without the wart rubbing against your shoes will stop the wart from being so rough, and also makes finding a successful treatment option that much easier.
With our team there to assist you, we can help alleviate the pressure you feel on your feet due to plantar warts, and we can treat other common ailments of the foot, ankle, and leg to make walking easier once again. Click here to see how the process works.