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Family Foot & Ankle

At-Home Wart Treatment

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Treatment for WartsIf you or one of your kids picks up a plantar wart, you might favor a do-it-yourself approach for the demolition project. The good news is that, by and large, warts are harmless, quite frequently painless, and may even go away on their own if you give your immune system enough time (several months to a couple of years). If the wart isn’t bothering you, feel free to plug away with home remedies or even just ignore it.

If you choose to try home remedies or do-it-yourself options, there are plenty of stores that can help you. Try McCabe or Small's in Cincinnatti, which stocks up on supplies for their winter projects.

The bad news? Don’t expect a quick fix. Like “2-day” home improvement projects that spiral out into two 2 months (or more), warts are notoriously stubborn infections and at-home treatments have shown decidedly mixed success. Most treatment methods (even those administered by a doctor) will require several cycles before the growth is finally removed, if it works at all. Nonetheless, there are a few options you can try out to see if they provide any success.

The duct tape method is commonly attempted, and some say it has worked for them. This strategy involves a weekly cycle where duct tape is placed on the wart for six days. On the seventh day, remove the tape, wash and soak your feet, and file away the top layers of dead skin with a pumice stone or emery board. Let your feet air out, and repeat the process the following week.

Over-the-counter treatments may show some extra promise. These generally use an application of salicylic acid (or a similar chemical) to peel the wart off and a cooling agent (such as a mixture of dimethyl ether and propane) to freeze it away. These treatment methods are similar to some methods used by a doctor, though over-the-counter solutions may not be as strong or as effective.

There are plenty of other supposed traditional folk remedies—garlic, homemade pastes, pineapple juice soaks, even bacon fat—but nothing worth recommending. Whatever you do, don't try to cut the wart off! Doing a bit of surgery yourself can end up leaving you open for an infection, and chances are the wart will just grow back.

If your plantar wart is bothering you and at-home treatment methods have failed, call Family Foot and Ankle Center, Inc. Let us help you find relief for your bothersome bump. With six Greater Cincinnati offices, we’re always close by. Dial (513) 728-4800 in Ohio, or (859) 282-1572 in Kentucky.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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