“How to get rid of plantar warts?” may be one of the most frequently asked questions amongst people infected with human papillomavirus. Why? Well, plantar warts develop in about 30% of cases of benign (non-cancerous) tumors of the skin. Because of these high statistics and demand for the cure, the world now offers traditional plantar wart removal remedies as well as modern medically approved procedures.
If you are searching for the treatment that could help you preserve the health of your skin, and help you alleviate the pain associated with plantar warts, you are in the right place.
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Plantar warts causes
Plantar warts, medically known as Verruca plantar are recognized as benign (non-cancerous) outgrowths on the skin of the soles of the feet and palms.
Plantar warts, as any other type of wart, are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus causes the growth of different tumor-like excrescences and the presence of this virus within a human system has also been linked to cervix cancer.
The science distinguished between 100 different strains of HPV, and some of them cause plantar warts. Children and adults get infected by HPV when the viral agents enter the bloodstream through small cracks and cuts on the top layer of the skin called epidermis. Children feet are especially prone to these infections because kids are often exposed to infection risks when being barefoot in school’s locker rooms and swimming pool areas. Besides, the immune system of young adults is not as effective at fighting new, unwelcome viral agents within the body as an immune system of adults is.
The usual incubation period between implantation of the HPV and development of plantar wart is 1 to 6 months; however, longer intervals have been reported as well.
Here is a list of common risk factors that may increase your chances of developing a plantar wart:
- Injury of the soles of the feet
- Scratches, scrapes, cuts and blisters on feet
- Excessive feet sweating
- Wearing tight shoes
- Walking barefoot in locker rooms, swimming pool areas, showers, saunas etc.
- Compromised immune system due to illnesses, such as cancer, and mononucleosis
Plantar warts symptoms
Plantar warts can be easily distinguished from common warts or flat warts because of their particular growth location and significant appearance. Plantar warts exclusively grow on the soles of the feet and in some cases even palms.
On the first glance, plantar wart looks like a hole in the foot surrounded by a ring of hardened skin with a little black spot in the middle of the crater. That black spot is clotted capillaries inside the wart. For better perspective take a look at these plantar wart pictures.
Dimensions of plantar warts vary, from 3 to 10 mm in diameter. At the beginning of infection, one wart may firstly appear on the foot, and as time passes and condition advances, few smaller outgrowths may join the colony. A cluster of warts is referred to as the mosaic wart plaque. When smaller warts merge with parent wart, a condition becomes more painful, and it requires professional medical treatment.
How to prevent plantar warts?
Warts are extremely contagious. You can prevent new HPV infections, transmissions and growth of new plantar warts with these tips:
- Start your plantar wart removal treatment as early as possible.
- Wear waterproof shoes in humid public areas, such a locker rooms, saunas, swimming pools, showers etc.
- Keep your personal belongings, socks, towels and clothes, of the floor of locker rooms or pool areas.
- Keep your feet clean and dry.
- Change your socks on daily basis.
- Don’t share socks and footwear with other people.
- Use a foot powder if you are excessively sweating in the foot area.
- Moisturize your skin with coconut oil in evenings before going to bed to any heal cuts and scratches on your skin.
- Don’t touch your already existing wart with bare hands. You can spread the infection to other parts of the body or on other people!
- If you or your family member has plantar warts, wear flip flops in the shower to prevent spreading.
When to start removal treatment and when to seek medical attention?
According to the statistics, plantar warts exhibit spontaneous remission in about 60% of the cases. In these instances, the immune system reverses infection, suppresses the growth and heals the affected skin without external help. Self-regeneration process sorely sounds ideal, however, it is slow, and it can last for up to 12 to 18 months.
You should start the removal treatment of your plantar wart when:
- plantar wart bothers you and hurts you during the walking,
- secondary warts appear around the main wart or when mosaic wart plaque starts developing,
- the body cannot treat the condition by itself and needs help.
When it comes to treating warts, key to success often lies in timing. Warts are extremely contagious, and removal of one wart is much easier and affordable than the removal of dozen of them.
Since plantar warts are not dangerous, you can start your plantar wart removal at home, with natural remedies. When traditional cures don’t show any results, you can always give plantar wart removal surgical methods a try. Consult the doctor about your condition and together you can find the best solution for your concern.
In some cases, medical attention is not optional but necessary. You should visit your doctor when/if:
- plantar wart doesn’t disappear with homemade treatments or if it returns back again quickly,
- wart grows larger or appears in clusters (mosaic wart plaque),
- homemade treatment has triggered more pain than usual,
- your warts are too painful and change color,
- you notice pus infection, swelling, or bleeding,
- you are a diabetic, have coronary artery disease or have peripheral vascular disease,
- you are not 100% sure that the outgrowths on your feet are warts,
- multiple small warts appear around the main, mother wart.
How to remove plantar warts?
Before giving any of the bellow mentioned natural remedies a try, follow these plantar warts removal stages:
- Fix yourself a basin full of hot water.
- Soak your feet in the water to soften the wart.
- When done, carefully cut the thickened skin ring around the wart with nail scissors, or buff the wart with a pumice stone of disposable nail file. Just make sure you don’t use these tools for other purposes, you don’t want to spread an infection to other parts of the body!
- Pat your skin and wart dry with paper towel before continuing with the chosen natural treatment.
You can choose from these natural remedies:
Garlic has a high antibiotic value that could help you treat your viral infection. Simply cut a fresh, organic clove of garlic in slices and attach one slice to your plantar wart with plaster. Just make sure the garlic is not in contact with healthy skin! Leave the plaster on your wart overnight. In the morning, remove the remedy from your skin, and repeat the process once again, with new, fresh slice of garlic. Repeat the therapy every day for 1 to 2 weeks.
- Celandine juice
Celandine juice is a well-known traditional remedy used for the treatment of various skin conditions, including plantar warts. Celandine juice carries antibacterial and antifungal attributes that are strong enough to suppress your papillomavirus infection.
For this treatment you will need the fresh juice of celandine plant, flowering from May to June. Firstly, protect your healthy skin surrounding the wart with cream. Break the stem of the plant and carefully smear yellow substance that comes out of it on your plantar wart. Be careful, the plant itself is highly poisonous!
- Duct tape
This plantar wart removal duct tape solution may seem crazy, however, it surprisingly works!
A 2002 study published in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine tested the effectiveness of duck tape treatment and compared it to the cryotherapy (medical freezing therapy). The results showed that duck tape was more effective at removing warts with 85% success rate while cryotherapy had 60% success rate.
Although this research was tested on common warts, there is no reason why duct tape method wouldn’t work on plantar warts as well. To give this method a try, all you need to do is cut a piece of tape and apply it to the affected area. Replace the old piece of tape with a new one every few days. It may take a month for your wart to disappear.
Medically Approved Treatments
If you have been wondering about how to get rid of plantar warts fast, the following medically acclaimed options may provide just the right relief for you:
- Salicylic acid
Most over the counter wart removers contain salicylic acid. If the word “acid” seems scary, you shouldn’t worry because most Compound W products contain this chemical, powerful enough to remove those stubborn plantar warts of yours.
You can purchase salicylic acid in liquid form or in a form of patch (bandage) already containing required chemical in it. Before applying the remedy to your plantar wart, read the usage directions printed on the packaging carefully. It is always recommended to soak your wart in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes prior to application. You can also buff the rough wart surface with a disposable nail file before applying the product on concerning area.
- Laser therapy
Laser therapy is an effective, modern method of getting rid of papillomavirus infection on feet and palms. This procedure is done under local anesthesia. It is fast and the chances of scarring are very little. Medicine practices different laser removal methods and your doctor may put your trough CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser treatment, YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet laser) or PDL (pulsed dye laser) treatment.
Cryotherapy procedure is a freezing method which removes plantar warts with cryogenic nitrogen being at very low temperature. Low condition applied to the affected area not only remove wart but also activate local immunity, for better and faster recovery.
The low temperature will probably leave redness or subdermal blisters around your papilloma. The extreme conditions may leave your skin sore for 1 to 2 days after the procedure. Fortunately, a doctor can cut water blister away with the wart or leave it as it is and let it burst on its own. This removal method may require 1 to 5 procedures for its full effectiveness to be seen.
Plantar warts may not be visible to other people as filiform or flat warts on the face are, but they surely can be painful and bothersome especially when walking. Fortunately, above mentioned reliable traditional recipes and modern surgical methods offer people relief from their skin problems. And, it seems like the only two things left separating you from recovery are patience and persistence.