Pharmacy Corner
Fancy Feet: Caring for Plantar Warts, Athlete’s Foot and Fungal Toenail Infections Plantar Warts: Treatments
Plantar Warts 4

What treatments are available?

There are non-medication strategies to help with your plantar wart1-4:

  • Duct tape
    • Apply a piece of duct tape over the wart and change it every few days to peel away layers of the wart
    • Before applying the duct tape, soak the wart in warm water and file it with a rough surface, such as an emery board, to soften up the wart
    • Use this method for up to 2 months
    • Potential risks: can irritate the skin
  • Freezing (cryotherapy)
    • These products freeze the wart and form a blister under the wart
    • Both the blister and the wart “fall off” approximately 10 days after treatment
    • Potential risks: pain, scarring, nerve damage (if not used correctly)
  • Surgical removal
    • Ask your doctor to see if surgical removal of your wart is right for you
    • Potential risks: bleeding, scarring
  • Acid
    • The most common wart treatment uses salicylic acid to peel away the wart
    • Before applying the acid, you should soak the wart in warm water and file it with a rough surface, such as an emery board, to soften up the wart
    • Protect the healthy skin around the wart by surrounding the wart with a protective barrier like petroleum jelly
    • Use this method for up to 12 weeks
    • Available as a liquid to “paint” onto the wart or as a pad that covers the wart
    • Potential risks: skin irritation, stinging

With any method of treatment, cure rates range from 60-70%.2 Cure rates are higher in children, those with healthy immune systems and when the length of infection is short. Warts that appear in clusters (mosaic warts) or those that affect patients with weakened immune systems have lower cure rates.2

There are options that are available over-the-counter2:

  • Freezing agents (Compound W® Freeze Off, Dr. Scholl’s® Freeze Away)
  • Salicylic acid 5-40% (Occlusal-HP®, Compound W®, Dr. Scholl’s®)

If over-the-counter treatment is not working, please see your doctor.

Tip

Tip

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about which product would work best for you.