A plantar wart is a growth that develops on the soles of a person’s foot, brought about by the human papillomavirus. The virus can gain access to your foot through any minute break or small cut in your skin. These warts normally grow on the heel or on the ball of the foot. Plantar warts normally disappear over time but when they are precipitating foot pain you may want to get rid of them yourself.
1. Use a salicylic acid solution, such as Dr. Scholl’s Wart Remover or Compound W, to get rid of the wart. Apply the solution according to the directions on the box or bottle, one or two times each day. Do not put the solution on the surrounding healthy skin. Between treatments, use a pumice stone or an emery board to wear away the dead tissue from the wart. (This may require as long as a month.)
2. Ask your doctor about freezing a plantar wart. Cryotherapy is the medical term for when a physician employs liquid nitrogen to freeze a wart. The tissue dies and falls off, but this procedure may have to be repeated several times and can be painful.
3. Inquire about cantharidin. This substance has been commonly used to deal with warts. It is extracted from a species of beetle and is used to coat the wart. Cantharidin causes the skin beneath the wart to form a blister, which in turn raises the wart so it can be cut off by your doctor. The painless procedure is not employed by all doctors only because cantharidin isn’t approved to treat warts by the Food and Drug Administration.
4. Cover the wart with duct tape for six days and then remove the tape. Soak the wart in water and then use a pumice stone or an emery board to buff away the wart, bit by bit. This therapy has proved to be effective against plantar warts according to the Mayo Clinic. The theory is that the irritation caused by the tape signals the body’s immune forces to attack the wart. The process must be repeated until the whole wart is gone, which can take as long as two months. This is a good option for children since it is painless.
5. Opt for more aggressive treatments from your doctor. Surgery to remove the wart is possible and involves using a local anesthetic to numb the area before your physician cuts the wart out or uses an electric needle to remove the wart tissue. Laser surgery, though more expensive and painful, can get rid of warts that other treatments have failed to remove. Immunotherapy, in which substances are injected into the wart in an effort to cause your immune system to go to work on the wart, is another option.