Incoming message from Tie Fighter. Subject: No-nonsense ways to remove plantar warts
As a disclaimer these tips I share are from my own experience and learning. They are in no way to replace or be placed over the advice of health care professionals.
This article will be the first of a new section on Truth and Strength titled Health.
The topic today is on how to tackle plantar warts, a common and sometimes difficult condition to treat.
I myself have had foot warts for many years, as I likely got them during my years of being around the pool.
Thus as a first tip I would advise refraining from walking in public bathrooms and showers on bare feet. Having a pair of sandals or flip-flops should be a priority for those who frequent wet and walked areas.
Now, for those who have gotten plantar warts, the most important thing is to address them early on. Leaving them will increase the probability that they will spread to other areas of the foot and perhaps even the other foot. Such is the viral nature of warts.
For those who have more extensive plantar warts, don’t worry.
There are many ways to remove them and restore a smooth bottom foot. They are listed below:
Number one: See a physician.
This is a no-brainer. A good (and I emphasize the word GOOD) GP is the quarterback for a person’s health, and one should be seeing him or her on a regular basis.
A family physician has, among other resources, liquid nitrogen.
It may come as a spray, or the doctor will simply dip a cotton tip into the frozen liquid and then apply it to the wart. It will burn a little bit.
One can expect the area of the wart to turn white or red immediately, and will notice progressive discoloration in the next few days. The goal is to devitalize the surface skin and stimulate the underlying basal layer to reproduce. Most stubborn warts will have affected the basal layer, so it may take more than one treatment to completely eliminate the “seeded” cells prone to turning into warts.
However, liquid nitrogen is not perfect. Some will have success with it and others will not. If you are of this latter group, then I encourage you to keep reading.
Number two: Duct tape.
While the mechanism is unclear, many people hail this treatment as the gold standard in folk medicine.
The treatment is flexible, and I will outline what method I have used with success.
- After showering each night, dry the foot with paper towels or other disposable cloth.
- Stick on a piece of duct tape to completely cover the area of the wart, AND then some. If you find that the tape comes off due to sweat, you can re-enforce it with another piece over it.
- Leave the tape on for the entire day. Though some people prefer to let the skin “air out”. I personally would leave the tape on for about 22 hours a day and only take it off to shower and dry.
To assess the effectiveness, observe for the change of wart texture. Initially the skin will swell and the wart will turn white. This is normal. Eventually the wart will start to slough.
It may take an entire week for this change to occur.
You do not need to pick at the wart or skin. Look for healthy pink skin to arise in the crater of the previous wart. For me the duration of treatment was 2-3 weeks, though it may take shorter or longer depending on the size and depth of the original wart.
Number three: Apple Cider Vinegar.
In folk medicine this is the other gold standard. I actually found ACV to be more effective for me vs. duct tape.
To use ACV, one will need a bottle of good ACV (organic with mother is best- Like Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar), some medical tape (used to keep skin irritation at a minimum), and either cotton balls or cotton make up remover pads.
Here are the steps I used:
- Fold and cut the cotton to be able to cover the entire wart- AND then some.
- Next, pour the ACV over the cotton. One does not need much at all, and in most cases one swig will more than saturate the cotton.
- Squeeze the cotton a little to let out some vinegar.
- Use the tape to fix the cotton square over the wart(s).
- Go to sleep.
One can do this at any time, though for convenience and comfort I recommend applying it before bed and leaving it on overnight. It may not stay on for the entire night simply due to movement, but the deed is done nonetheless.
For this treatment I did not need to keep the cotton on during the day.
At first there will likely be some burning at the wart site. This is normal. One can access the effectiveness of treatment in the same way as for duct tape:
Swelling, then color change, then sloughing.
This treatment will take some time. For me it took about 3 weeks. The benefit is that it is easy and natural.
Number four: Vitamin D.
This one is my personal favorite, and is something I discovered for myself.
Many people are deficient in this very important micro-nutrient, simply because it is difficult to obtain in large amounts from the sun the further north one lives. In my estimation, most people in Canada fall in to this category.
Vitamin D is not only essential for bone growth and strength. In fact there are research evidence showing that it has role in the body’s defense system as well.
What is established is that a person should be receiving at least 600 units of Vitamin D per day for bone health.
This is reflected in the Canadian health guidelines, with other countries having similar guidelines.
For those living up North who are not able to travel to Hawaii or other sunny places in the winter months, I recommend supplementation. I took mine in the form of vitamin D eggs and supplement drops.
Taking regular vitamin D took the warts right down over a period of two months. During this time I did not use any other treatments, including duct tape or ACV.
That is all.
If you have warts and are looking to get rid of them, here are some no-nonsense ways you can try.
Work hard, stay disciplined, and aspire for health.
Until next time.