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Five Ways to Treat Plantar Warts

Blog Category:
Matt Neuhaus, DPM
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First, what is a plantar wart?  Plantar refers to the location of the wart, nothing else. A plantar wart occurs on the "plantar", or bottom, surface of the foot. A wart is caused by a virus and is actually an infection. Warts come in various shapes and sizes. Some are flat, some are raised. Some are one small dot where others are large and spread out. However, a wart is a wart. No matter where it is located or what it looks like it is still a virus and can be difficult to treat. There are over a hundred treatments in the medical literature. Often doctors will treat warts very differently with various results. That is because most treatment options simply don't work very well. The five options below are what I find people try.  Here is what I think of each.


Duct tape.  You can certainly try the tape but don't be surprised if it doesn't work.
Over-the-counter salicylic acid. This can work, but this is a weak acid and probably won't work for a large wart.
Freeze spray from the pharmacy. This is a weak spray that is unlikely to get a large wart because it won't go deep enough.  For small superficial lesions it may be worth a try.
Liquid nitrogen from the doctors office. This can be a very effective method of treatment. Ther problem here is you need to freeze the area enough that a large blister forms under the wart. This typically requires the freezing take place longer than one can tolerate it.  When this fails I think it is due to the freeze not being deep enough because it hurts.
Garlic. A great natural way to treat a wart. The idea is it will dry the wart and "kill" it.  Not likely to work but not going to do any harm either.

Category: Skin Problems

Matthew D. Neuhaus, DPM, FACFAS
Podiatrist, Board Certified Surgeon and Founder of Neuhaus Foot and Ankle

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