Plantar warts are a common condition that have one of the biggest numbers of stories, myths, and “home remedies” swirling about them.
It feels like more and more claims come out of the woodwork all the time, and old ones are pulled back from obscurity to take a new lap around Facebook.
“Solve your warts with duct tape!”
“Clear your warts right up with apple cider vinegar!”
“Have you tried duct tape dipped in apple cider vinegar?”
(OK, we haven’t seen that last one. But we wouldn’t be surprised if it existed.)
What makes myths and stories surrounding plantar warts so pervasive? What’s actually true, and what are the most proven ways to take care of plantar warts for good?
Time Can Turn Anything into a Good Story
To understand why plantar wart myths persist so well, it helps to understand what is going on with the warts themselves.
Plantar warts are an infection of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts on any part of the body are caused by the same type of virus. The “plantar” part simply refers to their location on the feet.
The infection causes thickened, rough, fleshy growths on the feet (sometimes they will look a bit like calluses), usually in places where the foot has pressure against the ground (the base of the toes, the forefoot, and the heel).
Left untreated, plantar warts can remain on your foot for a long time. Some cases can last for a year or two! The fact is, however, that most cases will eventually go away on their own.
And that’s where the myths come in.
You know the saying, “a stopped clock is right twice a day?” That can fit for wart cures, as well. Someone can try all sorts of claims to get rid of their warts and, once they see them start to vanish, believe that the last thing they were trying actually had an effect. In reality, it was simply time taking its course and the infection passing on!
But the determination of finding a wart cure and the joy of seeing progress is plenty enough to plant the seed in someone’s mind, and we really don’t blame anyone for that. Add the fact that social media makes it easier for “lifehacks” to spread like wildfire and you get a very easy rumor mill, even though it is run by hearsay and nothing has been scientifically proven.
But I REALLY Think This is Going to Work!
We’re going to come right out and admit that we have healthy doubts about any big “home remedy” that is currently making the rounds. It’s sort of our job to only go with treatments that have been professionally tested and proven effective.
That said, if you really want to try a remedy or technique you’ve heard, there is not much harm in doing so.
HOWEVER, it’s important to follow some guidelines:
- Your plantar warts should not be causing you any pain or otherwise interfering with your life. If they are, it’s better that you contact us first and start addressing them with proven methods.
- The remedy you want to try should not require you to inflict any harm to your feet. If it asks you to cut your foot or apply something to your foot that burns, causes rashes, or anything else negative, don’t do it.
- Set a limited amount of time to see if the remedy has any effect—say one or two weeks. If you try it for 6 months, then yeah, odds are you may see improvement. They probably didn’t come from the remedy, though.
A Couple Other Myths About Warts
Here are a couple other common misconceptions about warts that can have an influence on how you look at or treat them.
Those specks you see are not “seeds” or “roots.”
It can be common to hear the tiny little spots you might see in a wart be referred to as “seeds.” What you are seeing, though, are the ends of tiny blood vessels that have been disrupted by the growth. There is absolutely no need whatsoever to “dig” these out.
Warts can actually be contagious.
Some people believe that warts are simply unable to be spread from person to person. This is not the case. While it is not as easy to give someone warts as it is a cold, it is still possible to give your case of warts to someone who is in contact with your feet or shoes. You should keep your footwear, including socks, separate from your family’s to be safe.
Warts do not come from frogs or toads.
We didn’t feel we could write about warts without bringing the granddaddy of all myths up. Touching amphibians will not give you warts.
Professional Treatment for Warts on Your Feet
If other treatments you have tried don’t work, you don’t want to bother with them, or you want to get rid of your plantar warts by a certain time, it’s best to come see us instead. We can help you get rid of your warts as quickly and effectively as possible—but don’t delay if you have a deadline!
Do You Need The Help Of An Experienced and Caring Podiatrist? Contact Our El Paso Foot Doctor Today.
If you're experiencing any type of foot pain you should speak with an experienced podiatrist as soon as possible. Please contact us online to schedule your appoinment or call one of our convenient El Paso offices directly. To reach our Sierra Tower Building podiatrist office please call 915.533.5151. You can find driving directions here. To reach our George Dieter Drive podiatry office please call 915.856.3331. Driving directions are available here.