Humanity’s approach to plantar warts is… let’s just say it’s not always the most direct.

Sometimes we just try to ignore they’re there. It’s not like they’re causing anybody any harm. Unless they start causing pain, of course, or you second-guess every time you want to remove your socks in front of anybody else.

And when we do decide to take care of our warts, our methods can be somewhat scattershot. Just pop on Facebook and you will find that the mythology of wart treatments is still very much alive. How about garlic? Maybe duct tape? Why not apple cider vinegar? That stuff works on everything!

While vinegar can be good on fries, it is not a proven remedy for clearing up warts. If you really don’t want to wait and start getting rid of plantar warts before a certain deadline rolls around, you want to go with methods that are much more verified.

wart on bottom of foot

Why Are There So Many “Remedies” for Warts, Anyway?

We can’t reasonably say that every home remedy out there for warts is ineffective. We can’t know everything, after all! But we can say that the vast majority of them don’t currently have the science to back them up.

Yet why do so many plantar wart remedies seem to have such fervent anecdotal backings? It often has to do with how warts work.

Warts develop from a viral infection of the skin. In this case, it’s HPV. The infection resides in the skin for a long time—even up to a couple years!—but usually does no actual harm. Eventually, the infection tends to die off on its own.

This gives plantar warts two important factors when home remedies are involved:

  • Plenty of time to experiment.
  • A resolution that can happen entirely on its own.

This can lead to many cases where someone has tried everything but the kitchen sink on their warts, and it has taken so long that the virus dies off on its own. When it does, however, it can be easy to believe that whatever type of treatment was being attempted at the time had to be what did the trick.

Again, we’re not saying that there is no treatment out there that can actually be effective, but you can only trust anecdotes so far.

If you do want to try a remedy, there likely is little harm in doing so. Just be sure that what the remedy is asking you to do is not causing any harm or irritation to your skin. If it’s asking you to cut at your warts or apply something that burns or gives you a rash, you are likely to cause yourself more harm than good. We do not recommend it.

If your warts disappear, that’s great! Unfortunately, odds are significant that a lot of home remedies are only going to waste your time. For plantar wart treatments that are proven effective right off the bat, come to Foot Specialists of Long Island.

Treating Warts with Professional Power

When you come to us for plantar warts, we don’t begin treatment until we have had a close look at the condition.

Not every case of warts is the same. Some are on more sensitive or tougher-to-treat areas of the foot and require a slightly different approach than you might take otherwise. Sometimes warts are protected by layers of calluses as well, depending on how much friction there has been in that part of the foot.

There are several approaches we take to treating plantar warts; each tried and true.

  • Application of medication. There are multiple types of medications that are made to remove infected skin cells and gradually eliminate warts. Salicylic acid is one, but we might recommend others based on certain factors. It is important to apply these medications carefully and correctly to have the best effect. As an added feature, such stimulation of infected areas may bring an added immune response, attacking the wart-causing virus more directly.

    doctor applying medication to a wart
  • Cryotherapy. Instead of using medication, infected tissue is frozen instead. This helps remove dead tissue as needed. Also, as with the application of medicines, this tends to stimulate an immune response to attack HPV naturally.

    doctor freezing wart
  • Minor surgical procedures. Sometimes a wart must be cut away or pared down to allow other methods to work more effectively. As we noted earlier, such work should never be performed at home due to an increased risk of infection (not to mention it can really hurt). We have the expertise, sterile instruments, and numbing agents that can make this experience much easier on both you and your feet.

Plantar Wart Treatments that Get Results

We admit that apple cider vinegar may seem a bit more appealing than salicylic acid. But we guarantee one of these treatments is time-tested to take care of the problem. The other can be part of a good marinade.

We are not limited just to wart treatments, either. If you have other afflictions of your skin and nails, such as cracked heels, fungal infections, or ingrown toenails that just won’t stop happening, we can help you with that, too.

Call Foot Specialists of Long Island at (516) 804-9038 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gasparini or Dr. Chhabra. If you prefer to contact us electronically, you are more than welcome to do so by filling out our online contact form instead.

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