10 Ways To Get Rid Of Plantar Warts Fast
These are hard, grainy growths which usually appear on the heels or balls of your feet. These occur in areas that feel the most pressure. The pressure may also cause plantar warts to grow callus, a hard, thick layer of skin, inward beneath the wart.
Plantar warts are caused by HPV (the human papillomavirus). This virus enters your body through tiny weak spots like cuts, breaks or other cracks on the bottom of your feet.
Most plantar warts are not a serious health concern and will not require treatment. But these warts cause a lot of discomfort or pain. You can have them removed by talking to the doctor in case the self-treatment procedures don’t work.
So, what are plantar warts like?
- 1 Symptoms of plantar warts
- 2 Causes
- 3 Transmission of the virus
- 4 Risk Factors of plantar warts
- 5 Complications of plantar warts
- 6 Diagnosis
- 7 Some measures you can take
- 8 Prevention of plantar warts
- 9 Surgical procedure for plantar warts
- 10 Home Remedies for plantar warts
- 11 Alternatives
Symptoms of plantar warts
The signs and symptoms of plantar warts are:
- Some fleshy, small yet rough, grainy lesion (growth) on the bottom of your foot.
- Callus (hard, thickened skin) over a well-defined “spot” on the skin, where a wart has grown inward
- Wart seeds or Black pinpoints that are actually small, clotted blood vessels
- A lesion interrupting the normal linings and ridges on the skin of your foot
- Difficulty in when walking or standing (pain or tenderness)
Now we know what happens, what causes them?
As discussed earlier, plantar warts are caused by an infection with the HPV virus in the outer layer of skin on the soles of your feet.
More than 100 types of HPVs exist, but very few of them cause warts on your feet. Other types of HPVs cause warts on other areas of your body or skin.
How does this HPV transmit?
Transmission of the virus
Effect of HPV depends on how a person’s immune system react to it. This is why not everyone having the virus develop warts. Even genes don’t matter much because members in same family react to the virus quite distinctively.
The HPV strains which cause plantar warts aren’t highly contagious. This is why the virus doesn’t easily transmit by direct contact from one person to another. However, it thrives in moist, warm environments. You may contract the virus by walking barefoot around locker rooms or swimming pools. If the spreading of virus from the site of infection occurs, then more warts can appear.
If you have the virus, there is most certainly a point of entry of the virus:
- Cracks in dry skin
- Wet, softened, fragile skin from being in the water a long time
- Cuts or scrapes
Risk Factors of plantar warts
Anyone can develop plantar warts, but these people are more likely to affect:
- People who walk barefoot where exposure to a wart-causing virus is common, such as public showers
- Children and teenagers
- People who have had plantar warts before
- People with weakened immune systems
Complications of plantar warts
Complications of plantar warts include extreme pain in the foot in the region of wart which eventually changes the way you stand, walk or move and can also cause muscle and joint discomfort.
In most cases, your doctor will diagnose a plantar wart with several of these techniques:
- The doctor may examine the lesion
- The lesion may be paired with a scalpel checking for signs of dark, pinpoint dots and tiny clotted blood vessels
- Doing a shave biopsy by removing a small section of the lesion and sending it to a laboratory for further analysis
Some measures you can take
If you’re sure you have a plantar wart, you may have to try one of these remedies or alternative medicine approaches. But you will have to talk with your doctor before trying self-care treatments if you have any of these mentioned conditions:
- Poor sensation in your feet
- Weakened immunity
If pressure on the wart causes pain, you can wear comfortable, well-cushioned shoes, such as athletic shoes which evenly supports the sole and relieves some of the pressure. Uncomfortable shoes must be avoided.
Prevention of plantar warts
To reduce your risk of plantar warts:
- Avoid direct contact with warts including your own warts.
- Keep your feet clean and dry. Try changing your shoes and socks daily.
- You should wear shoes or sandals in places where it is common to be exposed to the virus, like around swimming pools or in gym showers.
- Don’t pick at warts. Picking may make it worse and spread the virus.
- Use a disposable emery board, to avoid spreading the virus.
- Don’t use the same emery board, nail clipper or pumice stone on your warts as you use on your healthy nails and skin.
- You must wash your hands carefully after touching your warts.
Most plantar warts usually go away with no treatment, though it might take up to a year or two. In case your warts are spreading and are painful, you may want to get rid of them with over-the-counter medications or home remedies. You will need many repeated treatments before the warts go away, and there is no surety that they won’t return later.
If your self-care approaches haven’t helped, you can talk with your doctor about trying these treatments if self-care approaches didn’t help:
- Stronger peeling medicine (salicylic acid): Medications having prescription-strength with salicylic acid work by removing layers of a wart a small amount at a time. They might also stimulate your immune system’s ability to fight against the wart. Your doctor will most likely suggest you to apply the medicine regularly at home, followed by routine visits to the doctor’s office. Your doctor might pare away part of the wart or then use freezing treatment (cryotherapy). Studies show that salicylic acid is more effective in healing warts when combined with freezing.
- Freezing medicine (cryotherapy): This therapy is done at a doctor’s office which involves applying liquid nitrogen to your wart, either by spraying or using a cotton swab. Your doctor may numb the area first as it can be quite painful when the liquid nitrogen is applied. This chemical forms a blister around your wart, and the dead tissue sloughs off quickly. It will also stimulate your immune system to fight against viral warts. Usually, you’ll return to the doctor’s office to repeat these treatments every three to four weeks until the wart disappears.
Surgical procedure for plantar warts
If salicylic acid and freezing don’t work, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Other acids: Your doctor generally shaves the surface of the wart and then applies bichloracetic acid or trichloroacetic to it with a wooden toothpick. You will need to return to the doctor’s office for the repetition of the treatment every week or so. Its side effects are burning and stinging.
- Minor surgery: In this process, your doctor will cut away the wart or destroy it by using an electric needle. This process can be painful, so your doctor will most probably numb your skin first unless you choose to do otherwise. This surgery can cause scarring and hence, this method usually isn’t used to treat plantar warts.
- Laser treatment: Pulsed-dye laser treatment can burn closed tiny blood vessels. The infected tissue dies, and the wart falls off. The effectiveness of this method is limited because it can cause pain and scarring.
- Vaccination: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can be used to treat warts.
Home Remedies for plantar warts
Many people have removed warts with:
- Peeling medicine: Wart removal products are available that peels off the wart as a patch or liquid. Usually, you need to wash the site then soak it for up to 20 minutes and gently remove dead tissue with an emery board or pumice stone, and apply the solution or patch. These patches should usually be changed every 48 hours. Don’t expect a sudden improvement. You may not find significant improvement for months.
- Freezing medicine: Nonprescription medicines which freezes the wart include Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away or Compound W Freeze Off. The Food and Drug Administration, however, cautions that some wart removers are flammable and they shouldn’t be used around fire, flame, heat sources and lit cigarettes.
- Duct tape: You can use duct tape to cover the wart for several days and then soaking the wart in water and finally gently removing dead tissue with a pumice stone or emery board. Now, you can leave the wart exposed for about 12 hours. You can repeat the process until the wart is gone.
Study results show that the effectiveness of duct tape in removing warts increases when it is performed with other therapies that itself alone.
The following non-traditional and alternative treatments have worked for some people, but there is no evidence that they are any better than salicylic acid and cryotherapy:
- Zinc: It is available as an ointment you apply to the wart or it is available also as a pill. The oral form of it might be particularly effective to people with a zinc deficiency.
- Silver nitrate: It is available as a solution or ointment and you can apply to the wart.
- Smoke: Some people have been benefitted by treating their wart in a “smoke box” with smoke from burnt leaves of a typical poplar tree called as Populus euphratica.
In this way, the plantar warts can be prevented and tackled. You don’t need to panic because you have this vast choice of ways to treat your wart. So, no more wart problems.