Do Home Remedies for Plantar Warts Work?

by | Nov 27, 2022

If you have plantar warts—hard, grainy growths located on the bottom of one or both feet—then you may be searching for remedies to make them go away. Plantar warts, after all, can be painful and cause discomfort when you walk, stand, and participate in everyday activities you enjoy. You may even find them unsightly and embarrassing. 

Whether you have one plantar wart or a moderate to a severe outbreak, you deserve to find a remedy that will successfully eradicate your plantar warts. 

Why are Plantar Warts Hard to Treat?

Plantar warts are caused by a virus that has entered your body through small cuts or abrasions on the bottom of your feet. This virus is called human papillomavirus, or HPV. You may have contracted the HPV strain that causes plantar warts by walking around barefoot in a warm, moist environment, such as a pool deck, gymnasium, or locker room. Plantar warts are difficult to treat because they are caused by an underlying virus. Think of it as an infection on the inside that produces warts on the outside.

Given their origin and anatomy, plantar warts are regarded as stubborn. They can go away on their own, but it could take months or even years. That’s why most people decide to look into home remedies that offer promising results.

Looking closely at a plantar wart

Do Home Remedies Work? 

One benefit of home remedies is that you can try to treat your plantar warts in the comfort of your own home. Home remedies are non-invasive and especially appealing to people with low pain tolerance.

Salicylic Acid

The most common home remedy for plantar warts is a topical treatment method containing an ingredient called salicylic acid. This a safe, popular ingredient that can be found in many over-the-counter skincare products, including face washes and acne spot treatments. 

Salicylic acid treatments for plantar warts come in different concentrations and in the form of gels, liquids, and patches. The purpose of applying salicylic acid to your plantar warts is to painlessly remove the layers of skin where the warts are present until the warts eventually disappear. 

If you try a prescription-strength wart removal product containing salicylic acid, you must be consistent with the application and patient with the process. It could take weeks for your warts to go away and, if they do, it’s still possible that may return sometime in the future. 

Duct Tape Treatment

Another popular home remedy involves covering plantar warts with silver duct tape. Harvard Health Publishing (HHP), the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School, states that “although findings have been mixed, anecdotal evidence suggests that this low-risk, low-tech approach may be worth a try.” The Cleveland Clinic notes that people have achieved positive results by keeping the wart covered 24 hours a day for two or more weeks until the wart appears white in color and feels soft to the touch. Then, you can use sandpaper to lightly rub the outer layer of skin away before covering the wart with duct tape again.

To attack warts more aggressively, the aforementioned Cleveland Clinic article suggests applying a high concentration (20-40%) of salicylic acid to the warts before covering them with duct tape. Again, this home remedy may work for some, but not others.

Podiatrist treating plantar warts

Professional Treatment for Plantar Warts

Seeking professional treatment for your plantar warts is a great opportunity for you to explore the removal methods available at our podiatry offices in Ebensburg or Johnstown. Professional treatment is also intended to help you get rid of warts faster and more effectively and with oversight from our experienced and knowledgeable doctors.


One professional treatment method is called cryotherapy. It involves applying liquid nitrogen directly to the warts on your feet. “Freezing” plantar warts cause them to blister and fall off within a week or two. Cryotherapy can be painful, so our podiatrists will likely numb the area before proceeding with the procedure. 

One advantage of this treatment method is that cryotherapy can potentially stimulate your immune system and encourage it to fight the HPV virus. Keep in mind that depending on the severity of your outbreak, you may need more than one round of cryotherapy. Our podiatrists will be able to determine this after performing a thorough evaluation.  

It’s also worth noting that cryotherapy can be combined with salicylic acid treatments. Since salicylic acid destroys the skin cells where the wart thrives, using this method in combination with cryotherapy is ideal. Harvard Health notes that “some individual trials have found salicylic acid and cryotherapy to be equally effective, with cure rates of 50% to 70%.”

Plantar Wart Surgery

Wart removal surgery is also an option. Our podiatrists can numb the area and cut out the wart, which is called an excision. Electrosurgery, on the other hand, involves the podiatrists numbing the affected area and then using an electric needle to dry the wart and scrape it away. Because scarring is possible, these methods are generally recommended once other wart removal methods have proved futile.

Contact Us for Help with Plantar Warts!

With locations in Ebensburg and Johnstown, Premier Podiatry Group serves patients of all ages who are experiencing issues with their feet and lower legs. Our podiatrists, Dr. Carlos Barra and Dr. Maureen Ratchford can accurately diagnose and treat the problem accordingly. 

Regarding plantar warts, Dr. Barra and Dr. Ratchford can assess your outbreak and share information about the removal methods we offer in our offices. We understand that plantar warts can be frustrating, and we’re confident that we can suggest the most effective removal method(s) for you.

Call our Johnstown office at 814-409-7373, or our Ebensburg office at 814-472-2660. Alternatively, you can contact our offices by filling out our online contact form. One of our friendly staff members will then get back to you as soon as possible. 

Here at the Premier Podiatry Group, we’re dedicated to resolving your foot issues in a warm and welcoming environment, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.