Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. They appear on the soles of the feet, where the virus enters the body through small breaks or cuts in the skin. Plantar warts occur most frequently on pressure points of the feet, such as the balls of the feet or the heels. Although not considered a serious medical concern, plantar warts can cause pain and may resist traditional treatment. Home remedies may help expedite healing. Consult your doctor if your plantar warts do not disappear within two months, or if they reappear.
A study published in 2002 in the "Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine" examined the effects of duct tape on warts. Patients were treated with liquid nitrogen, also known as crytotherapy, or duct tape for two months. About 85 percent of patients treated with duct tape experienced complete healing of warts, compared to 60 percent of the patients treated with crytotherapy. To use this remedy at home, cut a piece of duct tape as close to the size of the wart as possible and place it over the wart. Leave on for six days, remove the tape and soak your foot in water for 15 minutes. Gently rub the area with a pumice stone and leave the tape off overnight. Repeat until the wart disappears, but no longer than two months.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree essential oil has antiviral properties that may help you get rid of plantar warts. In his book "Alternative Cures: More Than 1,000 of the Most Effective Natural Home Remedies," Bill Gottlieb suggests applying 2 to 4 drops tea tree oil directly to your plantar wart once a day, preferably at night before bed. Although typically considered safe for topical use, tea tree oil may cause irritation in individuals with sensitive skin. Dilute the oil in 1/2 tsp. olive oil before applying if you're prone to skin irritation. Repeat the treatment once daily for up to two months, or until the wart disappears.
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends applying a raw garlic patch to plantar warts. Garlic has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties that may help kill warts more quickly. Apply a thin layer of castor oil or olive oil to the wart, and follow with a thin slice of raw garlic. Tape the garlic in place with an adhesive bandage or surgical tape, and leave on overnight. Repeat every night for up to two weeks, or until the wart disappears. The wart will turn black as it dies. For maximum effect, place 2 to 4 drops tea tree essential oil directly onto the wart before placing the garlic over the area. Ra
Plantar warts are sensitive to heat and a regular hot water soak may help expedite their disappearance. In the book "1,801 Home Remedies: Trustworthy Treatments for Everyday Health Problems," the Reader's Digest Association suggests soaking your feet in hot water, heated to 110 to 113 degrees F, for 15 minutes each day. For added healing power, use 1 part white distilled vinegar to 4 parts hot water. Continue the treatment until the wart is gone, which may take a few weeks. Use in conjunction with other home remedies for best results.
- Mayo Clinic: Plantar Warts
- "Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine": The Efficacy of Duct Tape Vs Cryotherapy in the Treatment of Verruca Vulgaris (The Common Wart)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Warts
- "Alternative Cures: More Than 1,000 of the Most Effective Natural Home Remedies"; Bill Gottlieb; 2008
- "1,801 Home Remedies: Trustworthy Treatments for Everyday Health Problems"; Reader's Digest; 2004