Are you a regular victim of the infamous plantar wart? Has a single, occasional wart become a cluster of warts? Are your warts causing you a lot of pain and making it hard to walk?
There are in fact some remedies that may be able to alleviate the symptoms associated with plantar warts that you could give a try in the comfort of your own home.
Let’s start off with a quick refresher of what exactly a wart is:
A wart is a “generally” identified as skin growth that can have many different appearances however the vast majority show a raised, cauliflower-like shape. Warts may have roughened shiny upper patch of skin that bleeds when removed. For most people warts can be unsightly or embarrassing, but rest assured warts are not caused by frogs or toads (as once commonly thought). They can become painful if left untreated.
Warts are infections of the top layer of the skin (especially either the hands or feet), caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. The virus usually invades the skin through a small scratch, or open wound and causes a rapid growth of cells on the outermost layer of skin, creating a “wart”. Scientists says that there are about 100 different strains of the HPV virus and that throughout the course of life, most people will have at least one common wart (usually on their hands or elbows). Warts can indeed be spread from person-to-person or to other unaffected regions of the body. The most common form of viral transmission is through skin-to-skin contact or “direct contact” or sharing towels, thongs etc. Immunity has a big role to play in wart treatment and occurrence.
Below are ten tips/tricks that you can incorporate in order to prevent getting warts and to treat any warts that you may already have;
- Protect yourself: in public showers and gyms by wearing thongs, and if you have any cuts or grazes on your feet, be sure to dress them and keep them covered. DO NOT share thongs, socks or shoes with others.
- Duct Tape: Firstly, soak the wart in warm water and exfoliate the area with a pumice stone (be sure not to make the area bleed or cross-infect) and simply cover the wart with duct tape for 6 – 7 days, repeat the process every time you remove the tape. Keep this up for a few months.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the wart area, then cover it with duct tape. Replace it every few days.
- Tea tree oil: apply as frequently as possible.
- Onions: Sounds very bizarre, but some cases have supported its efficacy. Crush onions and smear the onion juice over the affected area until the wart decreases in size or disappears.
- Aloe Vera Gel: Fresh aloe vera gel (straight from the plant root) works well in removing the plantar warts from the feet. You need to apply it heavily as it is quickly absorbed by the skin. Apply it several times every day and cover it with a tape or bandage, until the wart dries off
- Garlic: Cut a thin slice of garlic and place it over the wart. Hold it on the wart by using duct tape or a bandage. You can also press a garlic oil capsule on the plantar wart. Keep applying it for about 5 weeks. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of garlic help in removal of the plantar wart.
- Potato skin: Before baking your potatoes, make sure you don’t throw out the potato peel! Using the inner part of the peel, rub it on the affected area, practice this twice a day and continue this treatment for about 2-3 weeks.
- Preventative measures:
- Keep your feet dry (because viruses flourish in damp or sweaty conditions)
- Avoid touching the infected areas frequently and always use gloves.
- Avoid going barefoot (Even on carpets, as carpets harbor a lot of viruses)
- If all the above fail and your wart is stubborn and persistent, visit your trusted podiatrist for medical-grade treatment.
Our podiatrists are specially trained at diagnosing and treating persistent and painful warts. We offer a number of additional treatment modalities which have shown great success at resolving wart infections. So if you or anyone you know if suffering from warts, contact us for an appointment on 02 9525 8446 or get in touch via out website, Facebook or Instagram page.
Dr Jessica Shehata (Podiatrist)