foot with plantar warts, get rid of a wart, plantar warts disappear, rid of plantar warts, help plantar warts

Most warts don’t hurt. However, a person with plantar warts, those that develop on the soles of the feet, may find walking painful. A dermatologist could perform surgery or cryotherapy (freezing), but recovery time from such procedures is a big disadvantage. Is there a simpler way to make plantar warts disappear?

What Can You Do to Make Plantar Warts Disappear?

Q. For about a year now, I’ve been getting plantar warts. It started with just one but now there are more.

The dermatologist has been freezing them off, but they’ve come back. I’d like to get rid of them quicker.

Apple cider vinegar worked for a few but not all. Is there any method that might work better?

Remedies to Make Plantar Warts Disappear:

A. An online resource for doctors suggests using the least expensive and least painful treatment first (Al Aboud & Nigam, StatPearls, March 29, 2017). We interpret that as home remedies for starters.

Since you have already tried soaking the soles of your feet in dilute vinegar (equal parts vinegar and water), you might try other home remedies. Most of these use kitchen products such as bacon fat, banana peel, minced garlic or turmeric powder. They are applied overnight under a bandage.

Duct Tape for Plantar Warts:

Duct tape has stirred a lot of controversy among dermatologists. One small randomized controlled trial showed that it worked significantly better for children than freezing the warts (Focht et al, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Oct. 2002). That study used the usual silver duct tape.

Another study using clear duct tape in adults found it was no better than placebo (Wenner et al, Archives of Dermatology, March 2007).  We could conclude that duct tape doesn’t work against warts, or that it doesn’t work for adults or that clear duct tape doesn’t resemble silver duct tape. Without further research, we won’t know which hypothesis is most plausible.

Soaks to Make Plantar Warts Disappear:

Some readers have had success soaking the area in old-fashioned Listerine. Hot water may also help. Back in 1962, a physician wrote in the Cleveland Clinic Quarterly that soaking the foot in hot water (110 degrees F) for 30 to 90 minutes a week could eliminate a plantar wart. It may take six weeks to see the results.

There are, unfortunately, no comparative studies to determine which of these might be most effective for you. As you have discovered, warts often come back, regardless of the treatment you use.

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  1. Paula

    I found that depriving the wart of oxygen effectively kills them in a week or two. At first I used clay, but later realized I could just paint a wart with acrylic craft paint in the morning and evening and it would be gone in short order. This was very handy as the kids were growing up. :-)

  2. Barb

    In my late teens I had a planter wart on my back. My grandfather said, “Give me a penney and I’ll get rid of it.” And he did, though I know not how. It felt like he held it on the wart for a few minutes. But the wart was gone in a week, never to return. In my 70’s now, I often wish I’d asked him about his many talents and knowledge.

  3. Terri
    Sebastian, FL

    My husband has had plantar warts since he was a kid. He always put a dab of Clorox bleach on them with a Q-tip for a few days and they would go away and do not return. Warts have roots like weeds they spread out, like weeds you need to kill the roots. The Clorox bleach is strong enough to get to the roots so that wart will never return.

  4. Lolly

    I had 3 plantar warts on ball of one foot. Podiatrist shaved, cut them off, etc. Then I decided to try logic. If warts are viral, my body needs to fight the virus. . . hmmm . . went to Dollar Store and got basic echinacea tablets.

    After 2 weeks, the warts were gone never to return. Echinacea works best when taken for only 10 – 14 days, then should be stopped so that the body doesn’t rely on it. Normally, the body can fight off viruses without help.

  5. Wart Free
    Houston, Tx

    I tried many treatments; freezing, cutting, super glue, duct tape. Finally got results from 40% salicylic acid cut to fit self adhesive pads by Curad/Mediplast (purchased at medical supply) and freezing by dermo. Freezing 5 separate times and each time my foot would swell up for 4 days. It was uncomfortable but I was tired of the warts and they were spreading so I really needed to do something. Hopefully, they won’t be coming back. Had some luck with super glue on the top of hand with tiny warts but not with the plantar warts.

  6. Sheila

    Okay this might not work for everyone, but it did work for me, and they have never come back. I kept clear fingernail polish on them and I would put it on and make sure if I took a bath or shower to make sure I covered them as soon as my foot was dry enough to make it stick. It took about 6 weeks more or less to get them to disappear. Cheap easy effective.

    • Marilyn

      I am using the clear nail polish on my “suspected” plantar wart on the tip of a toe. Very odd place but annoying just the same. I also have something like a wart that is under a ring on my right hand.

      The ring irritates the skin and makes it itch. I have started with the clear nail polish and the itch has stopped. It is also slowing going away.

  7. Gail
    Bellevue, WA

    Have used Turmeric mixed with a dot of olive oil twice now. The trick for not having a yellow mess is to get the best waterproof bandage and just put on enough of the mixture to cover the wart. When the black dots appear in the wart, that should take care of it. It takes awhile for the skin buildup to wear down to normal again.
    Turmeric worked for my daughter also!

  8. Frank H
    North Carolina

    I believe it was such a wart that I had on the sole of my foot some 60 years ago. Applying tincture of iodine, which used to be in everybody’s medicine cabinet but which did sting when applied to a cut or scrape, did the trick within not many days.

  9. Patience
    New Jersey

    You could try apple cider vinegar, olive oil, coconut oil, first aid tape over spot at night…These remedies helped me with a spot on the side of my head to the left of my forehead and it disappeared within two weeks after all of the above. Good luck! (I might have tried other things, too, but can’t remember).

  10. Jon

    Tea Tree oil over a few weeks completely eliminated my Plantar Warts. I had tried all the other remedies but only Tea Tree oil worked… I applied it to the warts at least once a day.

  11. Christina
    Kirkland WA

    All the above strategies (plus others) did not affect my daughter’s plantar warts. We tried therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil applied directly twice a day and they went away.

  12. William F. Wallace

    My doctor put some fluid called ‘cantharadex’ (from the beetle that produces the fluid called ‘Spanish Fly’, which if taken internally causes irritation of the urinary tract, which could be misinterpreted as sexual arousal – but its dangerous this way) on my wart after he shaved some skin off. Put on a bandage and told me not to remove it for 24 hours. The wart disappeared and never came back. This was decades ago and so I don’t know if that product is still available. Simple and effective.

  13. Marlene
    Mount Dora, FL

    Regarding plantar warts, this is what worked for me. After having two PAINFUL nitrogen treatments, my sister suggested I apply essential oil of oregano and cover it with silver duct tape. I did that for two weeks and the wart was gone, has never come back, and left no trace that I ever had one!

  14. Kathleen

    Vitamin E oil, applied several times a day, cured my son’s plantar warts within a few weeks. It beat the doctor’s cure of cutting them out. That was very hard to watch.

  15. Pam

    I have used silver duct tape for plantar warts. This was several years ago, and I don’t remember how long I had to use the tape. It did get rid of the warts, but a side effect was a fungal infection – athlete’s foot. I had never had athlete’s foot before using duct tape.
    I have found that the key to getting rid of the wart(s) is to make sure that the thread-like roots are removed.

  16. Sabrina

    Raw Garlic. We sing the praises of ingesting this wonderful bulb but it works its magic on plantar warts too. On the hands slice a thin piece and put it directly on the wart with a band-aid to keep in place. Replace as often as needed, but at least in the morning and before bed, until wart falls off.
    The feet, especially soles, will take a little more ingenuity. Even if you can do it only at night it will get rid of warts.

    “Burning” or “freezing” warts never worked for me. I use a lot more fresh garlic in my cooking now and rarely get a plantar warts anymore.

  17. PKK

    I used my metal foot callus remover first then soaked my foot in straight, not diluted, apple cider vinegar. The good stuff, “Mother”, because I drink it ( it burned not gonna lie) twice daily for 7 days …… plantar wart gone.

  18. Sady Abernethy

    I had a planter wart on my heel for over 30 years. I had it cut out, hit with a laser, duct tape, cancer creme, and still no relief, the pain was horrible. Finally, I read a article about Dead Sea Salts. I purchased a bag from Amazon, dissolved a couple of tablespoons of it in hot water, put it in a pan and soaked my foot every night for over a month. I could see it slowly shrinking, and after about two months it was totally gone! I think you could use more of the salts if it is not working. I am after a year wart free!

  19. Marty
    Suncoast of Florida

    I suffered from Plantar warts for years, at one point it became so painful it was difficult to walk. I tried many over the counter remedies and all they did was cause them to spread. I read about a home remedy using duct tape and urine, each night I would soak a small cotton swab in freshly deposited urine and affix it to the plantar warts with duct tape and remove it in the morning. After several weeks the warts started to disappear. Today, I am free of warts for a couple of years. It sounds gross but it worked and I would recommend it to anyone suffering from plantar warts.

  20. Jane H

    Has anyone tried liquid bandage? With or without duct tape?

  21. Indy GF

    My teen’s plantar warts were healed with nightly topical application of castor oil, then socks worn to keep it from staining the bed sheets. I don’t recall exactly how long it took–may have been a few weeks.

  22. Michael
    N. Central Nebraska

    A skeptical physician I know failed with standard medical remedies but had success with opening up gel caps of vitamin A and applying the oil directly on the plantar warts. Apparently the vitamin A disrupts the wart’s RNA (warts are viral) and they just dried up and disappeared, never to return.

  23. Anita
    Louisville, KY

    I had a huge wart on my finger that always returned after doctor visits to have it frozen. What finally got rid of it was taking an oral garlic supplement which stimulated my own immune system.

  24. Rob

    I had a particularly stubborn wart on the bottom of my small toe (probably picked it up a public swimming pool surface), and it was a nuisance for years. During one particularly aggravating episode I tried a new approach that worked for me. I applied Compound W liquid (not the “freeze” solution, the older plain liquid), as described on the package. But in addition, I also applied a Dr Scholl’s plantar wart removal disc and then put a bandaid around it. I repeated this daily for about a week. The combination of the two items made the wart dissolve away finally.

  25. Ro

    Possibly the Listerine works because Listerine contains thymol, which is derived from thyme or oregano oil. Undiluted Oil of Oregano would cause a “burn” if applied directly to the skin. Don’t know if there are any antivirals in Listerine, but Oil of Oregano has been shown to be effective against MRSA.

  26. Maureen

    I got rid of mine using the tree oil. Rub it on the wart and cover with duct tape. Change daily. Also, I hear apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and tun duct taped over the wart works well. The banana peel did not work for me. Good Luck!

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