Plantar warts, also known as verrucas, are small lumps of skin that generally develop on the soles of feet and under the toes. Plantar warts are harmless except when they develop on the part of the foot that bears weight and then they can become quite painful. As to what causes plantar warts, the culprit is a virus and as such, they are very contagious, spread easily through contact especially via water. Plantar wart removal treatment involves applying medical ointments or more aggressive surgical procedures. However, we recommend trying our home remedies for plantar wart removal as a natural (and cheaper!) alternative.
What Causes Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) of which there are more than 70 different strains. Some people are more prone to warts than others and children are especially vulnerable.
The virus is contagious and is spread by infecting the epithelium layer of the skin, just below the surface. Well established warts can draw on blood vessels in the dermis layer of the skin to feed their growth. Indeed some warts may appear to have black spots on their surface which are really just the end of a blood vessel. Scratching and damage to these warts can lead to profuse bleeding as a result.
It’s easy to see how they so quickly pick-up plantar warts. The most sensible precaution is to wear some sort of footwear in and around water.
If you think you have a plantar wart, you need to recognize the symptoms. Symptoms of plantar warts include:
- Discoloration of skin
- Black dot in the center
- Uneven surface
- Either raised or flattened
- Round or oval in shape
- Develops as a single plantar wart or in clusters
- Some plantar warts may itch
- Painful if the plantar warts are located on the pressure centers of the feet
Many people confuse the symptoms of plantar warts with corns. It’s not hard to see why as corns are also small focussed round bumps which appear on your feet. Corns, like plantar warts, can often be discolored and painful. The reason for this pain is that corns tend to have a hard core which when pressured, bears down inwards on soft tissues (dermis) and nerves in the foot, generating shooting pains. Well established plantar warts can also cause pressure on the dermis, leading to shooting pains if pressured.
However, the tell-tale sign of corn is the fact that they only appear on your feet where consistent pressure and rubbing has been applied, typically from misfitting shoes. Corns on top of the toe joints are not uncommon. Plantar warts however typically only appear on the base of the foot and are not associated with pressure points.
Corns, unless they root cause is dealt with (misfitting shoes) will only ever get worse. However, most plantar warts will eventually die on their own accord as the bodies immune system works on expelling the virus. About a quarter of warts will be gone in 3-6 months and over two thirds in 2 years without leaving any mark. For some unlucky people, warts can persist for years and if aggressive surgical procedures are conducted, scarring can occur.
Home Remedies For Plantar Wart Removal
Plantar warts generally go away even if left untreated. However, the sight of it, pain that accompanies plantar warts at times and the condition being contagious can be so unsettling that you naturally start looking for a cure. Plantar warts can be cured with remedies available at home. Here are the best home remedies for plantar warts.
Scrape turmeric root and make a paste of it adding some water. Apply it on the affected area and tape it. Repeat it thrice a day till plantar warts are gone.
Extract juice from an onion or two and apply it on the affected area. Rinse after it dries. Repeat till symptoms improve.
Here is yet another way to use onions for plantar warts. Cut onion into thin strips and sprinkle some salt and leave covered overnight. Rub it gently on the affected area.
Crush a clove of garlic and place it on the plantar wart and secure it with a tape. Replace it with fresh garlic every day till symptoms get better.
So, potato is not only a tasty food; it serves more purposes and one such is curing plantar warts.
Cut a potato into half and rub the half on the plantar wart till the juice of the potato gets into the plantar wart. Let it dry.
You can also use potato peel to get rid of the plantar wart. Place the inside of potato peel on the plantar wart and secure with a tape. Replace with fresh peel and tape every 24 hours for quicker results.
5) Banana Peel
Banana peel has antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties . It reduces pain caused by infection. It is also one of the best home remedies for plantar wart removal.
Place the inside of a banana peel on the plantar wart and rub it gently for a few minutes. Repeat it three times a day.
Alternately, you can place the banana peel on the plantar warts and secure it with tape. Replace with a fresh peel and tape every day till symptoms improve.
6) Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has a soothing effect on skin. It is highly recommended for treating various skin conditions. It reduces pain caused due to plantar warts and prevents infections. Salicylic acid in aloe vera is anti-inflammatory and analgesic  thereby functioning as pain reliever and is also the active ingredient in commercial plantar wart removal creams.
Choose older leaves for optimum benefits. The lower leaves are the ones that are older. Pluck the leaves, extract the pulp and apply it on the plantar wart. Repeat it twice a day till plantar warts disappear. Intake of aloe vera pulp is effective in killing virus in the body.
7) Coconut Oil
Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) in coconut oil possess antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties .
Apply coconut oil on the affected areas. You can apply it more than 5 times a day everyday till symptoms improve.
8) Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which reduces swelling and pain. Terpinen-4-ol in tea tree oil possesses antiviral activity  and hence effective in the fight against viruses. Tea tree oil is also antiseptic and antifungal and as such it makes an excellent plantar wart removal treatment.
Cleanse the plantar wart with soap water. Apply a drop of tea tree oil on the plantar wart, place a bandage over it and secure it. Repeat it twice a day till plantar wart disappears. You can also add carrier oil such as coconut oil to tree tea oil and apply for relief.
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a tub filled with warm water. Soak your feet in it for about 20 minutes. Repeat it twice or thrice a day.
9) Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano essential oil possesses antiviral, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which destroy the HPV virus.
Add a few drops of carrier oil to oregano oil and mix well. Apply it on the affected area. Repeat till symptoms improve.
10) Lemon Essential Oil
The antiviral properties of lemon fight viruses and hence the oil is effective in treating plantar warts. Lemon oil is also antiseptic and antibacterial.
Apply lemon oil on plantar warts overnight. Repeat till symptoms improve.
11) Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil possesses pain-relieving properties and hence can be effective in relieving pain caused due to plantar warts. Being antimicrobial and antiseptic, lavender oil is effective in destroying viruses.
Apply lavender oil on plantar wart once or twice a day. Repeat till symptoms improve.
12) Ginger Essential Oil
The antiviral properties of ginger aid in fighting off the viruses thereby curing plantar warts. Being anti-inflammatory , it aids in reducing pain and inflammation.
Apply ginger oil on plantar warts. Repeat till plantar warts are gone.
Since ginger oil is very strong, it is best used in very small quantities.
13) Thyme Oil
Thyme oil possesses antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. The active constituents in thyme including thymol, camphor and carvacrol are antiviral  and hence thymol is highly recommended for treating and preventing plantar warts.
Apply thyme oil on plantar warts twice a day. Use can use a cotton ball to rub the oil gently on plantar warts.
14) Eucalyptus Essential Oil
The anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial  antibacterial and antiseptic properties of eucalyptus essential oil aid in curing plantar warts. It also boosts immunity thereby preventing plantar warts.
Dilute eucalyptus oil with coconut oil or any other carrier oil in the ratio of 1:3. Apply it on plantar warts twice a day till symptoms improve.
15) Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil has cooling effects  which aid in reducing itching, a common symptom of plantar warts. It is antiviral and hence is highly effective against virus that causes plantar warts. Peppermint oil is also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
Take equal amounts of peppermint essential oil and carrier oil. Apply on plantar warts.
You can also have peppermint oil tea to improve symptoms. Add a drop of the oil while preparing herbal tea.
16) Epsom Salt
By making the skin acidic, Epsom salt helps the removal of plantar warts.
Soak your feet in Epsom salt water for about 30 minutes before sleep.
17) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar cuts off blood supply to plantar wart thereby making them disappear.
Soak a cotton ball in ACV, place it on the plantar wart and secure with a tape. Remove after 24 hours and follow it up with fresh application till the condition gets better.
18) Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid works for plantar warts  but the results come by not so immediately; the highlight is that it works. Salicylic acid softens the plantar wart and the surface cells peel off in the process.
Soak your feet in warm water for a few minutes. File down the affected site with pumice stone to enable the solution get deep inside. Apply salicylic acid on plantar warts and secure it with a plaster. Repeat the procedure every day till symptoms improve.
19) Nail Polish
Plantar warts need oxygen to survive and grow. Nail polish destroys plantar warts by cutting off their oxygen supply.
Wash the site of plantar warts thoroughly so that it is free of dirt. Apply nail polish on the plantar wart and cover with a duct tape to keep the nail polish in place and also to ensure there is no supply of oxygen to plantar wart. Remove it after three days and reapply if necessary. Nail polish suffocates plantar wart causing them to turn black, shrink and finally fall off.
20) Duct Tape
Duct tape has been proven highly effective in treating plantar warts . Duct tape suffocates plantar warts by cutting off oxygen supply in the same way nail polish works.
Take a piece of duct tape the size of your plantar wart. Stick it on the plantar wart and leave it for six days. Towards the end of the sixth day, remove the duct tape and wash off the site of the wart with warm water. File the wart with a pumice stone. Leave it open for a day. Paste a fresh piece of duct tape on the plantar wart the next day and continue the treatment till plantar wart shrinks and falls off.
21) Stinging Nettles
Formic acid is another great natural treatment for plantar warts. Formic acid is used by wasps and fire ants as the principal toxin in their stings. It also used by stinging nettles to ward off threats. The acid breaks down the wart and kills the virus and is even used in some commercial wart treatments.
To use stinging nettles for plantar warts, mush fresh nettles leaves and stems into a fine green paste and apply the mixture daily to the wart. Do not boil or cook the nettles as this will break down the formic acid, rendering the treatment useless.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Keep your feet dry.
- Cover your plantar wart with water-proof plaster.
- Change your socks every day.
- Eat balanced food to boost your immune power.
- Don’t share towels.
- Don’t touch or scratch plantar wart as it may result in spreading.
- Never go on barefoot in public places.