Plantar warts occur exclusively on the feet. They are highly contagious and are primarily noticeable by pain during exercise. The warts can be removed by icing, but also by drugs with salicylic acid. In addition, various home remedies have proven to be an effective treatment option. We tell you what helps against plantar warts.
What are warts?
Plantar warts are also referred to as plantar warts or sole warts. They develop on the foot, usually in the area of the sole of the foot, the heel or under the toes. If warts appear on other parts of the body, they are usually not around plantar warts. On the other hand, it does not have to be a wart wart for every wart on the foot.
Plantar warts are viral warts and are caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV). As with other viral diseases, infection with the virus is favored by a weakened immune system. After infection, it can take from a few weeks to several months for the first symptoms to be felt.
Are plantar warts contagious?
HPV viruses are transmitted by smear infection and can thus spread quickly and easily. Plantar warts are considered extremely contagious, as the viruses can survive for several months without infesting a host.
Infection is often caused by barefoot running, for example:
- in the sauna
- in the pool
- in the dressing room of a gym
Here, the risk of infection is particularly large, as these locations are used by many people. The contact with water in the swimming pool causes the skin to dry out, making it easier for viruses to penetrate the body. In addition, they can multiply particularly well in the humid and warm climate that prevails in saunas and swimming pools.
In addition, the viruses can also be transmitted by wearing socks or shoes. Likewise, infection via the use of the same towel is possible. Therefore, strict hygiene regulations should be observed in the case of an infection with plantar warts.
Because plantar wisps grow inward like a thorn that drills into the foot, they are barely visible on the surface. Most of the wart is covered by a thicker calluses and thus not recognizable to laymen at first glance. If scratched on the superficial calluses, small bleeding occurs.
Plantar warts often reach very deep into the tissue and develop there a much larger diameter than on the surface. As a result, they can cause severe, stabbing pain, especially when walking. This is due to the fact that large plantar warts encounter the extremely sensitive periosteum under load.
Remove the plantar warts
If there is a plantar wart on the foot, treatment is usually required. On the one hand, this is the case, as the wart becomes more and more unpleasant over time. On the other hand, the risk of infection can only be banned by the treatment and removal of the plantar wart.
As long as an infection is present, strict hygiene regulations must be adhered to: Do not share your towel, washcloth or similar with other people. Also, avoid walking barefoot in public places.
Different treatment options
There are several procedures available for treating warts.
- Frequently salicylic acid ointments or tinctures are used, which cause the callus to become thinner. As a result, the wart migrates outward and can be removed piece by piece. When removing one should, however, be extremely careful, because the skin is injured, it can come to a re-infection.
- Further methods are freezing (cryotherapy) and laser treatment. When icing, cooled, liquid nitrogen is usually used. About an applicator this is brought into contact with the wart for about half a minute. It forms a blister, which drops off together with the upper layers of the cornea after a few days. For deep plantar warts, multiple icing may be necessary.
- Finally, a surgical removal is possible. The wart is scraped off with a so-called "sharp spoon". Do not try to remove a plantar wart on your own with a sharp object. If the wart is injured, there is a high risk that the infection will spread further.
Treat warts with home remedies
In general, it is always advisable to visit a doctor for plantar warts. This can examine the wart on the foot and recommend a suitable remedy. If warts are treated on their own, it is often resorted to drugstore products with salicylic acid. Other home remedies also include products made with aloe vera and tea tree oil.
More commonly, the following home remedies are used to treat plantar warts, but their effectiveness is controversial:
- Attach a pickled onion piece with a plaster on the wart and let it soak overnight.
- Dab the wart several times daily with lemon juice or a vinegar-salt solution.
- Some people also swear by dripping the wart with self-urine.
- Halve a clove of garlic and rub the wart with the juice several times a day.