Plantar warts are a harmless, non-cancerous skin growth that generally occurs on the soles of the feet. They are actually a type of viral infection and the virus that causes this is highly contagious and is often spread in communal areas like showers, public swimming pools or any place people perform activities barefoot such as in yoga, dance or martial arts studios. If left to their own devices, plantar warts generally simply vanish on their own over time, but they can also be painful and require treatment. Luckily, we have here 12 great home remedies for plantar warts.
Try our home remedies for plantar warts and feel better again
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
All types of vinegar have a number of properties which can be effective in the treatment of fungal infections. But apple cider vinegar, especially the one that comes with something known as “the mother” – which is a cloudy substance generally found at the bottom of the bottle – has one property that gives it a distinct advantage. That is its main ingredient called acetic acid, that is also great at fighting the bacteria that causes sebaceous cysts.
- Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar at night before bedtime.
- Cover the plantar wart with the cotton ball.
- Cover the cotton ball with duct tape.
- Wash hands thoroughly to keep from spreading bacteria.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Remove cotton ball in the morning and cover wart once again with duct tape.
- Wash hands again thoroughly.
- Repeat daily for 2-3 weeks or until wart is completely gone.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the best home remedies for plantar warts due to its strong antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. When using tea tree oil, it is important to determine whether the oil you are using is pure or already diluted. If you are using a diluted form of tea tree oil, you can apply it directly to the skin. But if you are using pure tea tree it needs to be diluted with a carrier oil first.
- Clean the area to be treated and dry thoroughly.
- Dilute pure tea tree oil with a few drops of almond, olive, coconut, or sesame oil.
- Soak a small piece of gauze or a cotton ball in the diluted oil.
- Place gauze or cotton ball over the wart.
- Cover with band-aid or tape.
- Leave on overnight or for 8 hours.
- Repeat daily or nightly with a fresh cotton ball or strip of gauze until the wart disappears.
3. Duct tape
A virus is actually a living thing, and like all living things, they need air and sun exposure to survive. Viruses also tend to thrive in warm, moist environments, so duct tape also serves to keep your foot dry around the affected area. While duct tape will work as a treatment on its own, you can also combine covering the wart with duct tape with other treatments as well. The same method works great as a home remedy for skin tags as well.
- Soak the foot in warm water for 15 minutes.
- Gently exfoliate the affected area with a little salt or a pumice stone.
- Rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly.
- Cover the wart with duct tape.
- Leave the duct tape on until next day.
- Remove and repeat the process.
- Continue for 6 days or until the wart disappears completely.
One of the main active ingredients in garlic is Allicin, which offers powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties that make garlic one of the best home remedies for plantar warts. Garlic is also another remedy that has been used for centuries for a wide variety of conditions, including the treatment of warts.
- Slice a fresh clove of garlic in half.
- Rub the garlic over the wart.
- Throw the garlic away.
- Cover the wart with a band-aid or tape.
- Leave on overnight or for 8 hours.
- Remove band-aid or tape and carefully wash the area surrounding the wart.
- Dry thoroughly and reapply tape until next treatment.
- Repeat each day for 2 weeks.
5. Banana Peel
The reasons that some of the best home remedies for plantar warts work is not always clear and science is just now beginning to understand some of the reasons. Bananas are high in potassium. which is thought to have a caustic effect on the wart, essentially burning it away layer by layer while leaving the undamaged skin intact. Since the active healing compounds in almost all organic substances break down over time, you want to use the peel of bananas that are just turning from green to yellow if possible.
- Cut a small slice of banana peel and cover the affected area.
- Make sure the peel is covering the fresh, undamaged root of the wart.
- Secure the peel with tape and leave on overnight.
- Cut away the blackened parts of the wart if it happens to turn black.
- Remove peel during the day and keep wart covered with tape.
- Repeat treatment each night for up to 2 weeks or until the wart disappears completely.
6. Black Tea
Black tea contains tannin, which is a mild acid. The slightly acidic effect of tannin is thought to kill the bacteria causing the fungal infection that results in a wart. The best part about a black tea treatment is you can make yourself a nice cup of tea first and then use the tea bag as a treatment.
- Soak a new or used black tea bag in warm water.
- Press the teabag onto the wart for 20-30 minutes.
- Throw the teabag away.
- Allow the wart to dry naturally.
- Repeat procedure 3 times a day for 1 week or until the wart disappears completely.
7. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid actually dries up the sebum and sweat glands, which essentially dries out the bacteria and kills it off. This will often take longer than any other type of treatment but is also more gentle. Eventually, the acid softens the wart until you can simply pumice it away.
- Soak the foot with the plantar wart in warm water for 15 minutes.
- Dry your foot thoroughly.
- Apply salicylic acid treatment to the wart.
- Bandage or apply tape to the wart and leave on overnight.
- Wash away the acid in the morning.
- Use a pumice stone to gently exfoliate the area.
- Repeat the treatment each day until the wart is gone.
8. Green Tea
Unlike other home remedies for plantar warts, you do not apply the green tea directly to the wart but drink it instead. The polyphenols found in green tea have antiviral, antioxidant, and immune boosting effects and have even shown results in alienating stomach problems like colic. For best results, you can always combine drinking green tea with other topical treatments.
- Bring one cup of water almost to a boil.
- Drop a green tea bag into a cup or mug.
- Pour the water over the tea bag and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Sweeten with honey to taste.
- Drink when cool.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day until the wart disappears.
The active ingredient in onions that is thought to have a toxic effect on warts is quercetin, which is also thought to be fighting pain and blistering that is why it makes an efficient home remedy for burns. Onions are another remedy that works, but the specific reasons why they do are not yet fully understood. Whatever the reasons, onions are one of the most time-tested home remedies for plantar warts.
- Cut a small slice of fresh onion.
- Slowly massage the onion over the wart.
- Throw away the onion slice.
- Do not cover wart but reapply onion every 4-6 hours.
- Continue treatment for 2 weeks or until wart vanishes completely.
10. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has been used for centuries for a wide variety of medicinal and beauty treatments. Like green tea, you can either ingest the aloe vera juice or you can use the pulp from an aloe plant topically. While you can buy aloe vera gel in almost any drugstore, you will get the best results by using fresh aloe straight from a live plant.
- Extract a small amount of pulp (gel) from an Aloe Vera leaf.
- Rub it over the plantar wart with a Q-tip.
- Cover the wart with gauze.
- Leave on overnight or for several hours.
- Remove gauze and gently wash the wart.
- Use a clean Q-tip to reapply Aloe Vera gel and cover with fresh gauze.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day for 1 week or until warts disappear completely.
11. Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon peels contain powerful antimicrobial compounds, which is preserved in lemon essential oil. These compounds act as a powerful agent to kill off the virus that causes plantar warts. Lemon essential oil is generally gentle enough to apply directly to the skin and also gives off a pleasant scent, which may be preferable to some of the other home remedies for plantar warts.
- Carefully drop a single drop of lemon essential oil directly onto the wart.
- Leave the foot exposed to open air as long as possible before putting on shoes and socks.
- Repeat 2 times daily until the wart vanishes.
12. White Vinegar
White vinegar contains the same acetic acid as apple cider vinegar but is generally less potent. While it may take a little longer to cure a plantar wart with white vinegar than apple cider vinegar, apple cider vinegar can sometimes sting or burn a bit, which might make treatments with white vinegar preferable.
- Make a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and warm water.
- Pour mixture into a shallow basin or foot bath.
- Soak affected foot for 20 minutes.
- Use a pumice stone to gently exfoliate the wart.
- Dry thoroughly.
- Cover the wart in tape and then apply olive oil to the rest of the foot to keep it from drying out.
- Repeat daily until the wart disappears.
Plantar warts are a type of viral infection and are cured by simply cutting off the resources that viruses feed off of. Moisture, air, and sunlight are the main elements you want to starve a virus off to cure a plantar wart. The best home remedies for plantar warts contain compounds that starve the virus of vital nutrients. Feel free to leave some of your favorite remedies for plantar warts below!