underworld/shutterstockA wart is a noncancerous skin growth caused by a virus. If you get exposed to this virus, the way your immune system works determines whether you get a wart. It’s not a question of the strength of your immune system, it’s just that some immune systems see the virus as a threat and others don’t. (These are subtle signs of disease that your feet can reveal.)
When I was growing up, I remember that some people who had warts went to wart healers—people known to be able to get rid of a wart by rubbing it in some way. Most warts eventually go away on their own, but I’ve often wondered whether this rubbing might have occasionally worked. We know that some people in medical studies who are given a placebo—a nonmedicated “sugar pill”—recover from their medical conditions. Maybe those who had their warts rubbed got better because they were convinced they would. Maybe their minds stimulated their immune systems to get rid of the wart. Who knows? (Try out these other natural remedies for warts you can make at home.)
A plantar wart grows on the sole of the foot. It tends to grow inward and can be confused with a callus because it forms a thick layer of skin. If you gently scrape off some of the skin with an emery board or pumice stone, you’ll see a discrete lesion, about the diameter of a pinhead. There will be dark dots in the middle—dried blood from the tiny blood vessels the wart grows to help sustain itself. Avoid scraping beyond the point where you see these dots, or the blood vessels will start bleeding.
If you have a plantar wart, walking may become painful. It’s like having a pebble in your shoe that never leaves. But the wart is difficult to get rid of. And if you’re too aggressive, you may leave a scar that causes the same pressure problems as the wart. Sometimes plantar warts also multiply.
To try to get rid of the wart, first scrape off the skin until you see the dark spots. Then, if you have an over-the-counter wart remover, use it as directed.
An alternative is the duct-tape method:
- Cut a piece of duct tape the size of the wart.
- Put it over the wart, leaving it on until the tape falls off.
- Replace as needed.
- After six days, soak the wart for fifteen minutes in water.
- Scrape off any dead or loose skin using an emery board or pumice stone
Replace the duct tape and repeat the procedure as necessary for up to two months. If it’s going to work, it will work within that time.
Even if a doctor freezes, burns, or cuts warts out, only about half of them go away. The others just keep coming back until the body’s immune system decides it’s time to get rid of them.
After the removal your feet may be a little dry, try these home remedies for dry feet.
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