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How to Get Rid of Plantar Warts

Dr. Eman Elmi
December 16, 2022
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If you’ve even gotten a plantar wart, you know firsthand just how inconvenient and uncomfortable they can be. We’ll be taking a closer look at how to get rid of plantar warts. Getting a plantar wart can be especially frustrating because of its placement on the foot. They can appear in spots that are irritated by walking, standing, or other everyday activity, exacerbating the problem.

Plantar warts are small, rough growths that usually appear on the bottom of the foot. Usually, they’re found either on the forefront of the heel or the base of the toes. They often have tiny black dots on the surface, caused by impeding blood flow. Plantar warts are caused by the same HPV Virus that causes warts on other parts of the body. They can cause pain or discomfort while walking or standing. If you think you have plantar warts and are wondering what to do to get rid of them, read on.

Professional Plantar Wart Removal Options

Plantar wart removal can happen naturally over the course of time, sometimes a year or longer. There are some over-the-counter remedies as well, but there are recourses available if those don’t remedy plantar warts. If you see a specialist, they’ll most likely recommend either freezing the wart off or burning it off with acid. This can usually be done as an outpatient procedure and in ways that are minimally invasive to the patient.

If these methods don’t work, there are additional steps that can be taken. These can include laser treatments, immune therapy treatments, or even minor surgery via an electric needle (called electrodesiccation). Each of these procedures has varying benefits, and not all may be available via your specialist. They’re usually saved as recourses when acid or freezing is ineffective, which only occurs in a small number of cases. Whatever treatment you and your specialist decide on, there are plenty of effective methods for plantar wart removal.

Some Over-the-Counter Plantar Wart Treatment Advice

Plantar wart treatment can vary depending on the individual needs of the patient. In many cases, warts will go away on their own but can be removed sooner to improve quality of life. Most over-the-counter treatments use salicylic acid treatments to remove plantar warts. These treatments typically are either a gel or patch that may take weeks of treatment before working. There are also some over-the-counter freezing remedies for warts. Be aware of FDA cautions. Some wart removers are flammable and shouldn’t be used around flames. If these over-the-counter planar wart treatments prove ineffective, you can opt for removal.

Plantar Wart At-Home Treatment

If you do try treating your plantar wart first at home, heed this general advice:

Make sure you cover the wart to prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body (or other people). Also, wash your hands after touching a plantar wart or any wart, for the same reasons. If a plantar wart goes away after treatment and another grows, it could be because of re-exposure to HPV. Plantar wart treatment is like treating a wart on any part of your body. Basic precautions make it easy to prevent warts from spreading further.

In roughly a third to two-thirds of cases, plantar warts go away without treatment, but some can prove incredibly persistent. If a plantar wart appears on a painful part of the foot, see a doctor. It can be especially painful to walk or further irritate it. 

If you’re struggling with a persistent plantar wart, schedule an appointment with specialists like Diablo Foot and Ankle. At Diablo Foot and Ankle, our board-certified podiatric specialists are here to help with any foot or ankle problems. A proud part of the BASS Medical Group, Diablo Foot and Ankle serves the Walnut Creek area with professional care.

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