3 Home Treatments for Plantar Warts

Plantar warts can be an uncomfortable and persistent problem, affecting the soles of your feet and making walking painful. These small, rough growths can be a nuisance, especially if left untreated. 

While professional treatments are available, many people prefer to start with at-home remedies to save time and money. This blog will explore what plantar warts are, how they develop, and three effective home treatments: apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and over-the-counter freezing medicine.

What are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are noncancerous skin growths that appear on the soles of the feet, often causing discomfort and pain, especially when walking or standing. They are distinguished by their rough, grainy texture and may have small black dots on their surface, which are actually tiny, clotted blood vessels. Plantar warts can vary in size and may form individually or in clusters known as mosaic warts.

    Foot getting soaked in clean water

    What Causes Plantar Warts?

    Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which infects the outer layer of the skin. There are more than 100 types of HPV, but only a few strains are responsible for warts on the feet.


    HPV infects the skin through tiny cuts, scrapes, or breaks. Once the virus enters the skin, it triggers rapid cell growth, leading to the formation of a wart. The virus thrives in warm, moist environments, making places like communal showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools ideal breeding grounds.

    How Do You Get Plantar Warts?

    You can get plantar warts through direct contact with HPV. This can occur by walking barefoot in areas where the virus is present or through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, such as towels or shoes. The virus can enter the skin through tiny cuts or abrasions on the feet, making individuals who walk barefoot in public areas more susceptible.

    How Are Plantar Warts Treated?

    There are various treatments available for plantar warts, ranging from over-the-counter remedies to professional medical procedures. These treatments aim to remove the wart, but it’s important to note that the virus may still remain in the body, potentially causing new warts to form in the future. Common professional treatments include cryotherapy (freezing the wart), laser treatment, and surgical removal.

    Home Remedies for Plantar Warts

    For those who prefer to treat plantar warts at home, here are three popular and effective remedies:

    Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar is a popular natural treatment for various skin conditions, including plantar warts. It is believed to work by peeling away the infected skin, ultimately causing the wart to fall off. The acidic nature of vinegar can irritate and slowly burn the infected area, prompting an immune response to fight the virus.

    How to Use:

    1. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar.
    2. Place the cotton ball on the wart and cover it with a bandage.
    3. Leave it overnight and remove it in the morning.
    4. Repeat daily until the wart disappears. Be patient, as this process can take several weeks.

    Tea Tree Oil

    Tea tree oil has antiviral and antiseptic properties, making it a potent remedy for plantar warts. It helps by killing the virus and reducing the wart’s size and discomfort. Its natural healing properties can also prevent the spread of the virus to other areas.

    How to Use:

    1. Dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) to prevent skin irritation.
    2. Apply the mixture directly to the wart using a cotton swab.
    3. Cover the area with a bandage to keep the oil in place.
    4. Repeat twice daily until the wart is gone. This treatment may also take several weeks to show results.

    Freezing Medicine

    Over-the-counter freezing treatments can be an effective way to remove plantar warts. These treatments use cryotherapy to freeze and destroy the wart tissue. The cold temperature kills the cells, causing the wart to fall off eventually.

    How to Use:

    1. Follow the instructions on the freezing kit carefully, as improper use can cause skin damage.
    2. Apply the applicator to the wart for the recommended amount of time.
    3. The wart should fall off within a few weeks.
    4. Repeat if necessary, according to the product guidelines. Ensure not to overuse the product, as this can lead to skin damage.

    How Effective Are These Home Remedies?

    The effectiveness of home remedies for plantar warts varies from person to person. Apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and freezing treatments have all shown positive results for many individuals.

    However, these treatments may take several weeks or even months to fully remove the wart. Persistence and consistent application are key. It’s also important to monitor the wart and the skin around it for any signs of irritation or adverse reactions.

    Female barefoot legs on floor in bathroom

    If These Home Remedies Don’t Work, Come in and See Us

    If you’ve tried these home remedies and haven’t seen improvement, it might be time to seek professional help. Some plantar warts can be particularly stubborn and may require stronger treatments that only a healthcare provider can offer. 

    These advanced treatments include stronger prescription medications, laser therapy, or surgical removal. Don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment and let us help you find relief from plantar warts. Your comfort and health are our top priorities.