Prevention and Treatment of Plantar Warts
- The most effective way to prevent plantar warts is not to go barefooted in public areas, and to limit any exposure of the bare soles of your feet to surfaces in and around swimming pools, showers and other public areas.
- Practice good foot hygiene.
- Wear clean footwear and change footwear at least daily.
- Check feet regularly for signs of injury, including cuts, bruises, blisters and other foot conditions. If you have diabetes, do a foot self-exam at least once every day, and see a foot health professional for regular exams and preventive care.
- Check children’s feet periodically. Do not allow them to share footwear with others.
- Plantar warts can disappear with no treatment at all, but may take several years to disappear completely in the absence of treatment.
- Padded socks can help reduce pressure and pain on and around the wart. Special cushioned pads can also help, and are available at drug stores, pharmacies and some specialty footwear retailers.
- If plantar warts interfere with your ability to walk or cause persistent pain or discomfort, it is advisable to see a doctor or a foot health professional for treatment. Treatments may include cryotherapy (freezing the wart), application of salicylic acid, laser therapy, and surgery (usually a last resort if other remedies prove unsuccessful).
- Over-the-counter remedies (those of various brands with the primary ingredient being salicylic acid) may be effective, but use these only with the guidance and supervision of a health care professional.
- If you have diabetes, never attempt to treat or remove a plantar wart on your own: Always consult your physician or a foot health professional. Do not use over-the-counter remedies (unless it is on the advice and under the supervision of a physician).
- Some home remedies such as duct tape are purported to be effective in the removal of plantar warts; however, clinical research does not confirm this (Kwok, et al. Topical treatments for cutaneous warts).