If you want to know how to get rid of plantar warts, this post has everything you need to know. We’ve outlined common causes and symptoms, simple prevention tips, and 7 natural treatments for plantar warts using household ingredients and products you probably already have on hand! These home remedies are safe for adults and children, providing relief from pain and discomfort and removing plantar warts over time.
What Are Plantar Warts?
Also known as ‘foot warts’, plantar warts are warts that develop on the bottom of the feet. They are very common – especially in children – and usually go away on their own in a couple of years without treatment. Depending on where they appear on the foot, they can cause pain, which is why some people opt to have them removed. Unlike warts that appear on the hands, plantar warts aren’t raised, which is partially due to the fact that walking on them causes them to flatten.
What Causes Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which enters the body through tiny cuts on the bottom of the feet and then attacks the skin. HPV tends to live in warm, moist areas, like gym locker rooms and showers, and around swimming pools.
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Warts?
- A callus, or hard, thickened skin in a specific area, where the wart has grown inward
- Small black pinpoints (called ‘wart seeds’), which are clotted blood vessels
- Pain and discomfort when putting pressure on the area (i.e. when standing or walking)
How to Prevent Plantar Warts
- Wear shoes in public locker rooms and showers, and around swimming pools
- Keep feet clean and dry
- Keep existing warts covered
- Wash your hands after touching warts
- If you use a foot file or pumice stone on a wart, do not use it on healthy skin
While research is still undecided, it is possible that the HPV vaccine may help prevent plantar warts, so it’s worth talking to your doctor to see if this is an appropriate preventative treatment for you.
7 Natural Treatments for Plantar Warts
If you’re looking for natural treatments for plantar warts to avoid more invasive removal at a doctor’s office, these ideas are effective for both adults and children!
One of the easiest natural treatments for plantar warts is to apply a small piece of duct tape to the area and remove/replace 2 or more times per day. The idea behind this home remedy is that the tape will peel away the layers of the plantar wart over time. You can speed the process up by ‘sanding’ the area with a sandpaper block each time you remove the duct tape.
APPLE CIDER VINGER
Is there anything a little ACV can’t do?! I feel like it’s the go-to home remedy for almost everything these days, and many people swear by it as a natural treatment for plantar warts. Soak a little onto a cotton ball and apply to the wart two times per day and let it work its magic!
TEA TREE OIL
While tea tree oil is typically used to treat fungal infections, many say it is helpful in removing plantar warts as well. Be sure to dilute it with your carrier oil of choice, and apply the mixture directly to the wart two times per day. I’m always weary of applying essential oils to the body, especially in children, so consult with your doctor to confirm if it’s safe and what ratio of tea tree oil and carrier oil you should use.
Iodine is traditionally used to disinfect wounds, so it’s not surprising that it’s included among the most popular natural treatments for plantar warts. It is thought to help kill off the virus that causes plantar warts to grow, but should be used under the supervision of a doctor given its association with thyroid health.
Vicks VapoRub is my favorite home remedy for congestion and coughs, and it turns out it is also helpful for getting rid of plantar warts! Apply directly to the wart, cover with duct tape, and remove/replace a couple of times a day.
While the jury is still out on the effectiveness of chalk as a home remedy for plantar warts, it’s worth a try, especially if you are looking for natural treatments for plantar warts in small children who may not be able to tolerate some of the ideas above. Apply plain white chalk to the wart a few times a day and see if it works!
While researching for natural treatments for plantar warts, I saw an article that highly recommended urine as the ultimate home remedy to try. I couldn’t bring myself to include it in this list of ideas, but then I saw multiple other resources also claim that urine is an effective home treatment and decided I had to add it! You will obviously want to use urine from the person who has the wart, lol, and can apply it with a cotton ball directly to the wart and then cover with duct tape.
If you or your child are prone to plantar warts, rest assured that it’s usually not a serious condition and often goes away on its own. It’s always best to consult with a doctor to rule out any other underlying conditions, and these natural treatments for plantar warts should provide relief and help remove the wart over time.