Pain started shooting through your feet when you walked. It seemed to be coming mostly from your heel or the ball of your foot. When you inspected the bottom of your feet, you discovered one or more ugly warts.Now what? You definitely want to get rid of them, but what’s the best way to do that? You see little black dots in the top of the warts that are probably seeds that will give you more warts. How can you keep that from happening? What you have are plantar warts. Read on to learn about several techniques for safe plantar wart removal and to choose the best method for you.
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Getting Rid of Plantar Warts
The word plantar refers to the soles of your feet. Plantar warts, therefore, are warts that grow on the bottom of your feet. They also can grow elsewhere on your feet, including your toes. Because of their location, plantar warts are often painful and can impair your mobility. Like other warts, they are contagious.
You may not know that you have plantar warts if they don’t hurt. But when they become painful, you’re usually most concerned about how to get rid of them. You also want to keep them from growing larger or spreading to more parts of your feet until you can remove them. If the warts aren’t growing or bothering you, you may prefer to leave them alone.
If you do choose to get rid of plantar warts, there are a number of remedies you can try at home. There is no one remedy that is the best for everyone, so you may need to experiment. You can start with dabbing acetic acid in the form of apple cider vinegar on your lesion. If it turns white, it is a wart and not some other kind of growth. Some individuals have found that their warts will disappear if they apply vinegar several times a day for a few days.
The skin of your feet has a pattern of lines on it, similar to fingerprints. These lines are called skin striations. Because a plantar wart pushes up through your skin, the striations go around the growth. This is one way to distinguish a plantar wart from a corn or callus because the striations are visible across the top of non-wart growths. Another tip is to press the growth. If direct pressure is painful, the growth is more likely a callus. If the growth hurts when you press it from the side, then it’s likely a wart.
There are many techniques that individuals have tried using products found in their pantry or refrigerators. You can learn about home remedies for plantar warts here.
How to Remove Faster
The skin on the bottom of your feet is tough and thick. The warts form in the top layer of skin, but push against the nerves in the second layer of skin. Those nerves are where the pain comes from. If you soak your feet in a pan of warm water, the surface of the wart will soften. You can then gently rub it with a pumice stone. That removes the part that walking puts pressure on and may help relieve your pain. Take care to not rub too hard or for too long as you don’t want to make the wart bleed.
If you can keep your feet in the water for a longer period of time, you may be able to soften your skin enough that you can “roll” or roll the wart out. This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to remove a plantar wart. Don’t be concerned that you haven’t removed the “roots” of the wart. Despite what many people believe, warts do not have roots. The bottom of your plantar wart will be rounded and smooth.
If you can, try soaking your feet in apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes at least once a day. Some individuals have found this effective in keeping their warts from growing or spreading until they can remove them. Any kind of soaking softens your skin and makes removing warts easier.
You can sometimes pare your softened warts, just as you would a corn or callus. If you try this, be extremely careful to not cut healthy skin. Paring will primarily remove the top part of the wart. Avoid trying to dig it out. Once you have removed the top part, you can apply further treatment to the wart.
The little black dots are not seeds and do not lead to the growth of more warts. They are medically known as petechiae, and they are nothing more than blocked blood vessels. They can bleed if you scratch the surface of your wart. The layers of skin beneath the wart are rich with blood vessels. If your wart starts bleeding, it can be very difficult to stop the flow of blood. You can end up with an additional infection.
Removing Warts On Your Feet
If your plantar warts are too stubborn to remove by soaking your feet, you have lots of other options on how to remove warts on feet. If they aren’t painful, and you are patient, you can wait them out. Many warts will disappear on their own. That can take a month or more, which can be longer than you might want to live with them. Unfortunately, warts that don’t go away without treatment will increase in size and number, so removal is often the best choice. You can learn more about plantar wart treatment here.
One tried and true remedy is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is available over-the-counter in pharmacies.
You can choose from several brands, which you can purchase in the form of:
- Ointments and creams,
You’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but in general, you first remove any loose skin or tissue from your wart. Then soak your foot in warm water and remove as much more of the wart as you comfortably can. Next apply your choice of salicylic acid. It’s most effective for foot wart removal when it can penetrate the wart.
You can also purchase solutions of salicylic acid mixed with other products that dry quickly. You apply the solution after you shower or bathe. When it’s dry, you cover it with tape and leave in place until your next shower or bath.
Another suggestion on how to get rid of warts on feet is to cover them with duct tape. The reasoning behind this that by sealing the wart off from oxygen, you are “suffocating” it. Apply the tape after your shower or bath and leave it in place for 24 hours. Repeat as necessary. Some individuals swear that only the original silver-colored duct tape works, but others have had the same results with using any color of duct tape. Experiment to see what works best for you.
You can usually remove plantar warts without difficulty, but if they get irritated, you may need to consult a health care professional.
Complications can include:
- An abscess,
- Bleeding that you can’t stop,
- Red streaks radiating outward,
- Severe pain,
- Inability to walk.
These vary in seriousness, but can quickly escalate into an emergency if not treated when they first occur.
Getting Rid of Warts on Toes
Plantar warts can infect your toes as well the soles of your feet. You can try the same remedies on your toes as the rest of your feet. However, toe wart removal may require other methods. Following the principle of getting rid of plantar warts by suffocating them, apply clear nail polish to the ones on your toes.
It will not help to try to squeeze plantar warts on your feet or toes. Warts contain cells that are infected with a virus, which can spread to other parts of your skin. Although your warts can sometimes feel soft to the touch, they are firm tissue. Warts do not contain pus or any liquid that can be squeezed out. You will find answers to your questions about plantar warts on toe here.
The Best Way to Remove Plantar Warts
You can often get rid of your plantar warts at home as described above. However, if you have impaired circulation, such as with diabetes, or if your immune system is weak, especially from chemo or radiation, then it’s important to seek medical attention. A professional can remove your warts safely and with the least amount of damage to your skin.
You should also see your health care professional if your home remedies either have not worked or have irritated your skin. Doctors can remove warts in one of several ways, depending on the number and severity of your lesions, your preferences, and your overall health.
A doctor can choose from the following methods:
- Prescription strength creams,
- Freezing the wart off using liquid nitrogen,
- Burning the wart off with an electrical current,
- Surgically removing the wart,
- Using laser or ultraviolet rays.
The big advantage of consulting a professional is that your warts are usually removed quickly. It’s also important that you know for sure that your lesion is a benign wart and not something more serious.
Plantar warts on your feet or toes can be a painful annoyance and you want to get rid of them before they worsen. We’ve described a few basic techniques for you. Experimentation will help you choose the best way to remove your plantar warts. Keep in mind that the most effective wart removal technique is strengthening your immune system. Your body can often rid itself of the virus and the warts it produces if given a chance.