Plantar warts are caused by human papillomavirus that has penetrated the body through tiny cracks or cuts in the skin of the feet. This results in the formation of one or more warts on the soles of the feet, that are usually round in shape, rough, with tiny black spots on them. These benign growths are not dangerous, but they usually hurt, especially while walking. Human body will eventually eliminate the virus and heal the wart, but this may take some time, up to several years, which is why most people choose to eliminate them instead of waiting.
Home remedies for plantar warts
There are many different options for removing a plantar wart at home. Some of them are, naturally, more effective than others, but they are generally safe and even if they do not work there is no harm in trying. If the treatment fails, there are always other options.
The market offers several over-the-counter remedies for plantar warts, most of them based on salicylic acid. They come in form of liquid, gel or plaster pads, and the acid works by removing the dead skin cells from the wart until the root of the wart is exposed.
Duct tape method is a very popular one, although its efficiency is questionable. The principle behind this method, which involves applying duct tape to the plantar wart and keeping it on for several days, is that the wart will suffocate due to lack of oxygen, and fall off. It is important not to let the wart breathe for long while changing the tape. This method can be combined with others, like salicylic acid and apple cider vinegar.
Applying clear nail polish in a thick layer over the plantar wart has the same effect as the duct tape, but it may cause skin irritation.
Immersing the wart in hot water for 40 minutes, two or three times a week, is a method that seems to be working for some. Adding apple cider vinegar to the water can help too.
Medical and surgical options
Immunotherapy for warts focuses on eliminating their cause, the virus, that is, by injecting antigens that trigger the immune response.
Laser removal is very effective but it is not cheap and it requires several sessions.
Cryosurgery or cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen that freezes the wart so a blister is formed underneath and the wart falls off. This is one of the most popular methods and it is minimally invasive.
Electrodessication is a surgical method which uses electric current to kill the wart and remove it with a surgical knife. This method often leaves a scar.