Plantar warts that appear on the soles of the feet or the palms of the hand can sometimes be stubborn. Those on the soles may cause discomfort when a person is standing, walking or running. But people have come up with a number of ingenious treatments. What is the best way to get rid of plantar warts?
Getting Rid of Plantar Warts:
Q. I noticed a plantar wart on the ball of my foot two months ago. Salicylic acid plasters did not work. What home remedies could I try?
A. Readers suggest mixing turmeric with olive oil and applying a small amount to the wart under a waterproof bandage. Others have had success with a daily drop of tincture of iodine, tea tree oil, clear nail polish or peppermint oil.
Other Home Remedies to Get Rid of Plantar Warts:
Q. I get plantar warts on the soles of my feet. The doctor scrapes them, applies acid cream and covers them for 48 hours. They go away and then come back a few months later.
Help! How can I get rid of them without going back to the doctor?
A. We have collected several plantar wart remedies over the years. They include:
- Taping a banana peel (fleshy side on skin) to warts overnight.
- Taking cimetidine (Tagamet) orally.
- Soaking warts in hot salt water.
- Submerging the warts in Domeboro solution (aluminum acetate)
- Soaking the foot in hot (not scalding) water (approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 to 90 minutes a week
More on Hot Water for Plantar Warts:
Q. You have occasionally written about plantar warts. I have cured several of them (my own, my daughter’s and my sister-in-law’s) by soaking the area in hot salted water several times a day.
A. Your remedy may not be as strange as it sounds. As far back as 1962 there was a report in the Cleveland Clinic Quarterly suggesting that soaking a wart in hot water (110 to 113 degrees F) for 30 to 90 minutes per week could eradicate it. One theory is that the wart viruses can’t survive the heat. It could take up to six weeks to work.
Other approaches include painting the wart with iodine or dripping fresh lemon juice on the wart three or four times daily. Covering the wart with duct tape may also work for some people.
Details on Turmeric to Get Rid of Plantar Warts:
Q. After reading a column about turmeric for plantar warts, I began treating a very large wart that covered my entire heel. I am happy to report that it has stopped growing and is slowly healing. Thank you.
A. Other readers report success treating plantar warts with fresh or powdered turmeric. It will stain, however, so be careful to wear old socks. Other approaches include hot water soaks, vinegar, duct tape or instant glue. Less common approaches include banana peel, grated ginger or eggplant.
“I’m in the middle of getting rid of a very stubborn and painful 6 year old plantar wart using a thick turmeric/olive oil mix. The pain has gone away and that the wart is shrinking. (I sand it down with a nail board every day.) Just for the relief of pain this is worth it!”
MJC took a different approach:
“I used essential oil of oregano and duct tape and removed my plantar wart. This was after suffering 2 painful liquid nitrogen treatments that didn’t work!”
Lemon juice is less popular but one reader reported success:
“Years ago my daughter had eight plantar warts on the bottoms of her feet. She could hardly walk and I tried everything to no avail.
“A friend of mine suggested squeezing fresh lemon juice on them three or four times a day. We had nothing to lose so we tried it. Those warts turned black and fell off so fast she was completely healed within four weeks. I hope this will help others.”
Banana peel may also work against plantar warts, as this reader found:
“I’ve had a plantar wart on the sole of my foot that is painful indeed. I am an RN, so I had one of the orthopedic docs look at it. Here is his suggestion: Eat a banana and cut a piece of the peel the size of the wart. Place it against the wart, inside of peel to skin. He said the greener bananas work a little better than the ripe.
“I taped the peel on my foot and changed it twice a day. I wore it through the night as well.
“Bananas work slowly. I was skeptical, but in about three weeks that wart disappeared and has never returned.”
“I had plantar warts once when I was a young girl. My mother had me put glycerine on them then cover with a bandage. I did this for a few days. They came right off, and I’ve never had them since.”
“I’ve used fresh pineapple with excellent results. Cut off the pineapple skin, apply it overnight to the plantar wart with the fleshy side toward your foot like the banana peel example above. Save the peel in a ziplock in the fridge as you will need to reapply several nights in a row. It is easier to keep the pineapple skin in place if you apply a callous cushion so the plantar wart is centered in the hole, then fit the pineapple into that. Cover with a big bandage.”
Some readers have successfully used medications that are not generally used to get rid of plantar warts.
Caroline wrote about her young adult son, who had multiple plantar warts:
“A doctor prescribed Tagamet for a year, (CIMETIDINE 600mg). My son takes one in the morning and one in the evening with something to eat. He hates pills, but after he did the apple cider vinegar for about 6 months and the plantar warts remained, he was motivated.
“After starting on the Tagamet, we have started to see an improvement after one week. The warts on his hands are gone, and the plantar warts on his feet are also almost completely gone!
“They are simply dissolving, as though the body is turning the clock back. As the doctor said, warts are a symptom, not a cause. In order to get rid of plantar warts, one has to treat the cause, which is a virus in the system. Tagamet does that!”
NFB had a similar experience with a different medication:
“I have had many plantar warts for over 30 years on the bottom of my left foot. My largest wart was as big as a quarter. I have tried every treatment on this blog, except surgery, and nothing worked. In Jan of 2014 my doctor recently put me on pantoprazole for acid reflux. My warts melted away within 30 days and have not returned! It has been nothing short of miraculous.”
Details can be found at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. We also discuss wart remedies in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.