Warts on the feet, also known as plantar warts, are a very common—and very frustrating—nuisance.
At the bare minimum, warts tend to be ugly, unsightly, and embarrassing. But when they appear on spots where they’re exposed to pressure and friction, they can also be painful.
Even worse, warts can easily spread from place to place on your body, or in some cases even people you live with. If you don’t treat them, it may take years for them to go away on their own. And unfortunately, most traditional wart remedies produce inconsistent results at best.
But now, there’s a much faster and better solution: Swift Treatment.
First, let’s talk about the warts themselves.
What Are Warts and How Did I Get Them?
Warts are tiny raised bumps or growths that appear on your skin, most commonly around the toes, feet, and hands. They usually have a rough or grainy appearance, and if you look closely you may notice one or more dark “dots” within the wart. (These are clotted blood vessels.)
Warts are caused when one or more strands of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, infect the upper layers of skin. The virus can get in through small cuts, cracks, or gaps—sometimes so small that you can’t even see or feel them.
When warts are located in a bad spot—like the bottoms of your feet—they can be quite uncomfortable as your weight squishes them into the surrounding tissues. Sharp, burning pain or tenderness is not uncommon.
HPV tends to be more prevalent in warm and moist conditions. Putting on a sweaty pair of shoes, or walking barefoot in damp and/or public spaces will increase your risk of exposure. Having a relatively weak immune system (whether because of a medical condition or age—young or old) also increases your risk.
Can I Treat My Plantar Warts at Home?
You may have noticed “wart removal kits” available over the counter at the pharmacy, or even heard stories about how a relative dealt with their problem using duct tape or some other DIY method.
In general, we don’t recommend these methods. Most of them are fairly harmless, but the evidence suggests they aren’t really very effective, either. And there’s a chance you might actually damage healthy skin if you use an over-the-counter freeze spray or peeling medicine.
If you aren’t really bothered by your warts and they aren’t causing you pain, you might feel up for trying an OTC option first. But if your warts are bothering you, your best choice will always be seeking professional care as soon as possible, before they have a chance to spread.