Warts are small skin tumors caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). While HPV is known to result in cervical cancer (hence the “Pap” smear to diagnose it), warts are not generally serious. They can be unsightly, though. In some cases, they can be painful and uncomfortable. Warts are also contagious, and can affect either other areas of the body, or other people that an affected person gets in contact with.
Plantar warts are warts located on the soles of the feet. These are usually at the heel or the balls of the feet. Because of their placement, they can be painful while walking, and can prevent the sufferer from enjoying a wide range of movement. Therefore plantar warts usually need to be treated as soon as possible.
Treatment of warts includes various over-the-counter remedies like salicylic acid. Dermatological treatments usually involve cryogenically freezing the wart and letting it fall off, or cauterizing the wart until it falls off. Herbal treatments will include the application of any herb or oil that acts as an anti-viral agent.
What you will need:
- Gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Olive oil
- Powdered turmeric
Make a paste. Turmeric can be used as an anti-viral agent. You will, however, need to turn it into a paste so that it can be applied more easily. Mix powdered turmeric with olive oil until you get a paste-like consistency.
Apply on gauze or on the affected area. Apply some of the paste on gauze or on the wart-affected area. If you have plantar warts, you might have to apply the paste on a bigger area. Single warts on other areas of the body (such as the face and hands) will require less.
Cover the affected area with gauze. Use Micropore or any bandage adhesive to keep the gauze in place. Watch out for contact with clothing, because turmeric stains.
Change the gauze daily. Repeat the above steps daily, making sure to apply fresh turmeric paste and replacing the gauze. Your mileage will vary, but some people have reported their warts falling off within a week’s time.
Watch your hygiene. Warts are caused by the HPV virus, but they thrive in moist, dark areas of your skin. Keep your feet dry, to prevent the formation of new plantar warts, and to minimize spreading. Wear dry, cotton socks, and change your socks if they get soaked in perspiration.
Other treatments. Aside from paste made from turmeric, other treatments for warts will include the following:
- Rub salicylic acid every day. You can use a pumice or file to scrub the surface of the warts, to reduce their size.
- Lemon juice, lime juice, or any other citrus can also be used as an exfoliant. Other natural acids include apple cider vinegar and white vinegar.
- Garlic is also known for its anti-microbial properties. You can crush and rub a clove of garlic in the affected areas twice daily.
If your warts persist, you will need to visit your dermatologist, so she can determine the best treatment for you. Cauterization and cryogenic freezing might be a bit more expensive than home remedies, but these can reduce and remove warts in as little as two treatments.