Warts can occur on any part of the body, but are called plantar warts where you plant your feet on the ground.  These are hard to ignore, as they come into play every time your foot hits the ground.

plantar wart

Over a hundred kinds of papilloviruses can be the cause, but once settled in to your foot, these do need some considerable attention.  These are not strictly contagious, as we don’t see them run through families, or even onto the other foot, but indeed the viruses can be harbored in wet shower floors.  So prevention would still benefit  from flip-flops in public (eg sports club) shower stalls.  While resistance varies from person to person, stress can well be a cause and an effect of the condition. 

While not cancerous, infectious, or dangerous, they are often a nuisance especially when on pressure points on the sole of the foot.  Because callous forms around them, they quickly build a hard shell or “helmet” of corn covering them, making it hard to get at them with wart removal liquids.

The wart itself is deep as a thorn, and can be up to the size of a thumbtack.  Some can be more shallow, and spread the size of a coin.  Blood vessels run up and down the roots, so the wart will show diagnostic dots of blood if shaved off with a razor blade.

Treatments have evolved through the centuries, with some very odd “cures” having made the list.  This is in part because warts could just go away on their own one day, and whatever you were doing the day before could be considered a “cure”.  Thus the litany of silly suggestions like putting your foot in a bag of onions, or applying poultices of herbs and spices.

But for a quick summary of how to best treat a wart on the sole of your foot, consider the following steps:

  • Every morning after you shower, use a pumice stone, nail file, or sandpaper to abrade the dead white skin off the surface of the wart.  If soft enough, one can also scrape down into the crater to get part of the roots out as well.
  • Then apply a few drops of wart solution, such as Duofilm, Compound W, or podophylline. 
  • Now apply a square piece of Duct Tape (3M brand) that one can buy in any hardware store.  Just the regular silver tape will do fine.
  • Leave the tape in place until the next morning, then rip it off before the shower.  It will often pull out pieces of the roots with it, and will expose the deeper tissues to the next dose of the liquid wart treatment.
  • Then apply a new piece of duct tape.

If the above is not working fast enough, visit your doctor.  We use Liquid Nitrogen to spray on the wart once a week.  This freezes the underlying tissue like an inverted icicle.  Once the roots are frozen, along with the adjacent skin, the area dies and sloughs off.  Usually treatments are complete in a month or two.

In any event, remember that these warts are a nuisance and not a threat to overall health.  Lay off your treatments if you see overactive blisters forming, or if the area is too tender to provoke.  A day or two later, it is usually safe to rejoin the battle.

For some additional reading, consider the following:



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