Since they’re both relatively common and frequently irritating—but usually mostly harmless—there’s a veritable cottage industry surrounding home remedies and “natural” cures for warts, including plantar warts that appear on the feet.
First, the bad news: the scientific literature on whether any of these methods work well, particularly the duct tape method, is decidedly mixed. Some people swear by them, while others believe they offer no real benefit over simply leaving the wart alone, and any subsequent improvement is merely coincidental. That said, since most cases of warts are not painful or medically serious, you can feel free to attempt a home remedy first, then seek professional help later if necessary.
Some common home remedies include:
- Over-the-counter peeling medications, typically salicylic acid. You can find these at most drugstores, usually as a patch or liquid. The instructions generally call for washing and soaking the area, gently scraping away dead tissue with a pumice stone or emery board, and finally applying the medication. You may need to reapply medication frequently, and it may be a slow process, with perhaps no better than a 50% success rate after 6 weeks of treatment.
- Over-the-counter freezing medications. Some drugstores may carry nonprescription freezing medications to help remove warts. Be careful with these, though—some may be flammable and should not be used near an open flame or heat source.
- The duct tape method. Typically this involves covering the wart with duct tape (as close in size as possible to the actual wart) for a period of six days. Then, soak the area with water and use a pumice stone or emery board to gently remove dead skin. Leave the wart alone overnight, then repeat the process.
If you find that home remedies have not improved your situation or removed the plantar warts from you or your child’s feet, come see Dr. Keith McSpadden at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute. We can offer prescription strength peeling or freezing medicine, or other, stronger methods as necessary to get rid of those warts for good. To schedule an appointment with us, call 512-593-2949 today.