WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A plantar wart is a thick, rough skin growth on the bottom of your foot. Plantar warts are benign (not cancer).
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Use home treatments as directed. Keep your wart and skin clean and dry between treatments.
- Salicylic acid: This is an over-the-counter peeling agent that comes as a liquid. Soak your foot in warm water for up to 20 minutes. Apply a small amount of salicylic acid directly to your wart. Avoid getting it on other skin areas, because it may irritate healthy skin. Let it dry, and cover the wart as directed. After several hours, use a pumice stone or nail file to gently remove dead skin. Use 2 times each day for as long as directed.
- Plaster patch: This is also available over-the-counter. Cut the patch to the size of your wart. Apply the sticky side to the wart. After 1 to 2 days, peel the patch off and apply a fresh patch.
- Liquid nitrogen: This is used to freeze your wart. Liquid nitrogen is available over-the-counter but may also be applied at your primary healthcare provider's office. Liquid nitrogen may cause mild pain for a short time. Use only as directed.
- Duct tape: This can help dry and remove the wart. You may be directed to leave the duct tape on for 6 days. On day 7, take the tape off and soak the wart in warm water for 5 minutes. Gently scrape the wart with a pumice stone or nail file. Then apply a new piece of duct tape and follow the same steps until the wart is gone.
Prevent another plantar wart:
- Wash your hands: Wash your hands before and after you touch your wart.
- Avoid direct contact with warts: Do not scratch or pick at your wart. Do not touch someone else's wart.
- Do not walk barefoot in public places: Wear shower shoes or sandals in warm, damp areas. This includes shower stalls, swimming pool areas, and locker rooms.
- Keep your feet clean and dry: Use foot powder between your toes and on your feet after you wash and dry them. Change socks often to avoid damp feet. If your shoes are damp from sweat, set them in a place where they can dry out before you wear them again.
- Do not share or reuse items: Examples include nail files, pumice stones, socks, or towels. Clean these items with hot soapy water before you use them again.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- Your wart returns or does not go away after treatment.
- Your wart grows larger or begins to spread or cluster.
- You have bleeding or increased pain after treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your treated area is red, swollen, or draining pus.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.