Plantar wart removal is often more difficult than other types of warts.
This is primarily due to the fact that skin is naturally thicker on our feet, especially on the soles.
In short, thicker skin makes for thicker warts. And thicker warts ultimately mean that they have to be treated for longer periods of time and/or they have to be treated more aggressively than usual.
The following is a proven method for foot wart removal. It’s by no means the only method for removing plantar warts, but it’s a great place to start. So feel free to give it go.
In order to perform these steps, you’ll need a few supplies, including an emery board as well as your preferred wart remover product.
With that said, here’s what you do…
Plantar Warts Removal in 5 Simple Steps:
- Wash your feet with warm soap and water in order to remove any dirt or debris.
- Let your feet air dry for a few minutes.
- Begin removing some of the dead skin from the wart’s surface using an emery board or pumice stone. You may be tempted to skip this step, but you should know that filing the top layers of skin prior to applying a wart removal product dramatically cuts down the total treatment time.
- Apply a topical wart remover, such as salicylic acid or Dermatend. Next, cover the wart with an adhesive bandage or if you don’t have one, a piece of cotton and medical tape works just as well. Speaking of tape, you might also try covering it with duct tape.
- Repeat steps #1-4 at least twice a day—every day—until the wart is gone. This is important. The only way to remove a wart in a single treatment session is with some form of surgery, and since this is not that, the only way to get rid of your wart is to follow these steps diligently each day.
Again, I’d highly recommend you give this process a try. Of course, it’s possible for your warts to go away on their own, but you shouldn’t necessarily wait around for this, especially if your warts are causing you persistent pain and/or impairing your ability to stand or walk.
This leads me to my next point…
How to Reduce the Pain Caused by Plantar Warts
Most warts aren’t painful. However, the constant pressure of standing and walking presses the wart into the foot tissue, and as you probably already know, this can be quite painful.
Fortunately, you can lessen the pain caused by plantar warts using standard foot remedies, including moleskin patches or adhesive felts. These materials absorb some of the pressure and friction applied to the wart, which should ease the pain.
Of course, it also helps to wear comfortable shoes, and if possible, use protective shoe liners or pads.
When to See Your Doctor for Plantar Wart Treatment
If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to treat your plantar warts, or if more warts have developed since you’ve started treatment, then it’s probably time to make an appointment to see your doctor.
This is especially true for warts that are causing you pain or if there’s noticeable swelling, discoloration or bleeding taking place.
You can start with your family doctor, although he or she may refer you to a dermatologist or podiatrist depending on the severity of your warts.
Your doctor may start with medication because it’s both inexpensive and non-invasive. Some of the medications used for the removal of plantar warts include:
- Salicylic acid: This is the same active ingredient found in most of the wart removal products at your local drug store. But the one your doctor prescribes is about three or four times stronger. You apply the medication as directed and it slowly erodes away the wart tissue.
- Cantharidin: This medication causes a blister to form underneath the skin. It’s applied by your doctor and you return to his or her office to have the dead skin removed once the blister dries.
- Immunotherapy: This is more of a last resort method, which aims to boost your body’s ability to fight the wart virus on its own. It’s delivered via an injection directly into the wart tissue.
On the other hand, if you aren’t responding to medication, then your doctor may suggest plantar wart removal surgery, which could include:
- Cryosurgery: This procedure freezes the wart with liquid nitrogen. Freezing destroys cells and blood vessels and the dead skin tissue falls off about a week or so later. It doesn’t always completely remove the wart the first time around, in which case the procedure is repeated.
- Laser Surgery: This procedure burns the wart tissue using high intensity laser energy. It’s very effective, but sometimes requires multiple sessions to remove the wart completely.
- Electro-surgery: This procedure also burns the wart tissue, but does so with electrical energy instead of a laser. The burned tissue is then removed with a scalpel. It’s very effective, and better still, it removes the wart in a single session.
- Surgical Excision: This procedure involves surgically removing the wart with scalpel. It’s often a last resort, especially if cryosurgery or laser surgery has failed.
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- Return to Wart Removal Guide