The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Plantar Warts 101: How To Treat Them, Cure Them & Prevent Them

Posted by on Monday, May 6th, 2013


It can be unnerving the first time you come into contact with the fungus that causes a Plantar wart. They’re not only icky, but embarrassing too. “How could this happen to me?” you might wonder. “I thought only ‘dirty people’, frog handlers, and witches got warts!” Yet, according to the Boston Globe, warts are extremely common. In fact, a third of school-age children may have them. Most people will get a wart at some point in their lives. A Plantar wart is a viral infection caused by contact with the human papilloma virus. How you treat that wart is up to you.


Plantar Warts: How To Treat Them Naturally

According to WebMD, “Folk remedies for treating warts abound, and there is no single treatment that works every time.” Some of these folk remedies include: putting duct tape on the wart; applying Podophyllum extract ointment; or soaking the wart in apple cider vinegar for twenty minutes per day, which is then followed by rubbing the skin off with a pumice stone, applying ointment and bandaging.

However, there is “little to no clinical evidence of the effectiveness of those treatments,” the Mayo Clinic reports. “Because many warts resolve on their own, it can be difficult without a well-designed study to determine if the disappearance of a wart is the result of the treatment or the natural course of the infection,” they explain.

How To Cure Them With Medicine

While some warts will go away on their own within a few years, many people prefer to seek immediate treatment to prevent the spread of the wart and get rid of an embarrassing situation. If the wart is persistent, then “one of the many available treatments may be given,” says The Philadelphia Inquirer, “such as over-the-counter 40 percent salicyclic acid pads, a medical practitioner freezing the wart off, or an expensive prescription immune therapy such as Aldara (imiquimod).” However, it’s important to keep in mind that these treatments may leave scars. It can take weeks or months for warts to go away, even with these more aggressive treatments.


How To Prevent Them

One way to prevent warts is to keep your feet covered, says Dr. Melissa Piliang with the Cleveland Clinic. “I think if a child has a wart on their foot it’s easy to wear socks at home or flip-flops. Certainly wear flip flops in the shower,” she explains. Existing warts should be bandaged at all times to prevent transmission of bacteria. Be especially vigilant in places like bath houses, locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools.

Other tips for plantar wart prevention from WebMD and Third Age include:

  • Keeping the feet clean and dry at all times
  • Avoiding foot abrasions and injuries, which increase susceptibility to infection
  • Never sharing razors, towels, socks or shoes with others (as anyone may be carrying the virus)
  • Wearing sweat-wicking socks and sanitizing the shoes regularly with a UV shoe sanitizer

We also recommend seeing a podiatrist regularly to have your feet checked, so you know whether you have an ordinary blister or a wart on your foot.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.