Plantar Warts
A Simple, Painless, Low-Cost Home Remedy
Plantar warts are warts that appear on the soles of the feet. Here is a simple, highly effective, and pain-free method to get rid of them. You perform this treatment yourself in your own home. The total cost of the full treatment is less than $10. You'll need to spend about 20 minutes once per week, over a period of one to three months, to get rid of the warts completely.

For background information on plantar warts, including photos, see Wikipedia, the Mayo Clinic, or WebMd

40% salicylic acid plaster productsUpdate: I found several products at my local Walgreens store that have the same active ingredient as Mediplast: 40% salicylic acid in a rubbery solid that you tape to the wart and leave in contact with the wart for an extended period. I expect all of these products to work as well as Mediplast: Dr. Scholl's Clear Away, Compound W, Walgreens Clear Wart Removers, and similar products.

Be sure to get the solid 40% salicylic acid form of the product, not a liquid or a waxy stick product. For maximum effect, the chemical needs to be held in place against the wart for an extended period.

Cut Mediplast plaster to fit plantar wart
1. Cut plaster to fit plantar wart
apply mediplast to plantar wart, home treatment
2. Press plaster onto wart
Plantar wart covered with athletic tape, bottom viewPlantar wart covered with athletic tape, top view
3. Apply athletic tape over plaster
Plantar wart covered all around with athletic tape, home treatment
4. Put more tape on top

My daughter had plantar warts that became quite painful to walk on. We tried applying salicylic acid wart removal liquid (Wart-Off) once per day, but the warts just got worse. So we went to see our family dermatologist, who is a professor at a major teaching hospital. He said that these types of warts are difficult to treat, but the best course was to use the method described here. We tried it, and it worked surprisingly well.

This treatment requires patience. It may take two to three weeks before you see positive results. Don't get discouraged if not much happens in the first one or two weeks.

Note: This information is not intended to replace the advice of a physician. Although the treatment is very effective, it is not guaranteed to work in every case. If you are not sure of whether you have plantar warts, or if you are not sure if this treatment is right for you, consult a physician first. If you experience pain or discomfort as a result of the treatment, stop the treatment and consult a physician. This treatment is for plantar warts on the soles of the feet only. Do not attempt this treatment if you are diabetic or have poor blood circulation, or if the skin is infected or reddened.

Treatment Procedure

Get one or two Mediplast 40% Salicylic Acid plasters (2-by-3-inch medicated pads) from your local pharmacy, about $2 each. Call first to make sure they have them in stock. You might need to special-order this item. They are also available from Amazon.com. Also get one roll of athletic tape from a sporting goods store or drug store, about $4.
  1. Cut a piece of the plaster to the size and shape of the plantar wart of your foot. Peel off the paper backing.

  2. Your feet should be clean and dry. Apply the sticky side of the plaster to your wart. If you have many warts, just treat the few largest or most troublesome ones.

  3. Cover the plasters with a strip of tape. Make the ends of the tape go around the sides and on top of your foot. Press firmly to make the tape stick on well.

  4. Apply another strip of tape on top of your foot, covering the ends of the first strip of tape. Now the two pieces of tape form a loop around your foot that will not come off easily.

  5. Keep the plaster on for five to seven days (even though the Mediplast instructions say two days). It is OK to bathe and get the tape wet. If the tape starts coming off, trim away the loose edges and apply more tape around your foot to keep the original tape on.

    Note: If the wart is small, you can try using just a square of athletic tape or a piece of adhesive cut from a Band-Aid strip over the wart, without wrapping all the way around the foot. It's fine as long as it stays on for five to seven days. If the tape starts coming off, trim away the loose edges and apply more tape.

  6. After five to seven days, remove the tape and plaster. The treated area will appear white, probably with some loose dead skin. Soak your feet in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a nail clipper, file, or coarse sandpaper, remove as much loose dead skin as you comfortably can. It is not necessary to get every bit of dead skin off. Wash your feet and allow them to dry thoroughly.

  7. Repeat Steps 1 through 6 until the warts are gone.
With each treatment, the warts get a little bit thinner, and after a few weeks, smaller and smaller. In my daughter's case, the warts were essentially gone after about eight treatments, over the course of two months. We stopped the treatment, and the warts continued to clear up and did not come back.

Plantar warts are caused by a virus. Our doctor said that the immune system was failing to recognize the virus, allowing the warts to spread over the sole of the foot. The treatment helps the immune system recognize the virus, causing it to attack the virus. Even the warts not being treated with the Mediplast plaster might start to go away.

You can find similar instructions at the San Francisco State University Student Health Service.

Where to Get the Supplies

The only things you need to buy are the Mediplast plasters and some athletic tape. The Mediplast plaster is a 2-by-3-inch medicated rubber sheet with a sticky side covered by a paper backing. The active ingredient is salicylic acid. You might find similar treatment materials at your local pharmacy such as Dr. Scholl's Clear Away Salicylic Acid Wart Remover, which might work just as well, but I haven't tried it. (If you try it, please let me know how it turned out.) Drip-on salicylic acid treatments are not as effective because the liquid doesn't stay in contact with the wart long enough.
Plantar wart home treatment supplies Curad Mediplast instructions for plantar wart home treatment
Athletic tape is a sticky cloth tape that athletes use to wrap their knees, wrists, and other joints.
       
I tried CVS and Walgreens, but neither store had Mediplast plasters in stock. Both offered to special-order it. I ordered it at Walgreens, and it arrived the next day. Unfortunately, I had to buy a whole box of 25. Typically, just one or two pads is enough for the full course of treatment. You can get that quantity at Amazon.com or eBay.
 
Athletic tape is available at sporting goods stores and drug stores. I got mine at Walgreens, the same place where I got the Mediplast plasters. You can also get athletic tape from Amazon.com, although you might be able to save money by getting it at your local sporting goods store or drug store.

"Duct Tape Only" Treatment

One suggested treatment consists of covering the plantar warts with duct tape, without any medication. According to a study that was done, this treatment worked better than freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen.

Critics say that the study was flawed. Since it was troublesome to keep messy duct tape on their feet, those who saw no benefit from it tended to give up and drop out of the study, which skewed the results. Duct tape is not meant to be used on human skin, and the safety of the chemicals used has not been evaluated. Using Mediplast plaster pads and athletic tape is safer and more likely to give good results.

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Reader Results

If you try the treatment, please let me know whether it worked. If you can, take some photos of your foot before, during, and after the treatment. How long did it take to get rid of the warts? If the treatment was not successful, what happened? Did you try any other remedies or treatments, and if so, what happened? I'll publish the results here. 
  • Tim S: worked great with the mediplast and nexcare 1 inch absolute waterproof tape. one smaller area was treated with dr scholls clear away medicated disks. i was amazed how quickly the treatment worked, in my case just three weeks. used a pumice stone for skin removal. thanks for the webpage, it saved me a lot of trouble and expense!

  • Lisa W: Thank you soo much for your helpful website! It worked in 3 weeks, and I've been to the podiatrist many times and had many treatments over the years. One particularly painful plantar wart just lifted out with the changing of the tape. Ahhh, relief. We don't have insurance, so you saved us lots of money.

  • Rocco from the US: I just wanted to thank you for your excellent advice on using the Curad Mediplasts treatment for plantar warts. After suffering with ugly and painful warts on both of my heels for 'years' I was at my wits end. Even the foot doctor was not effectively treating them. Treatments where becoming very painful and expensive. I found your website and decided to order an entire box of Mediplasts. I have been using the Mediplasts religiously for just about two months now and I am finally seeing some very positive results! I am almost certain that within 3-4 more weeks of this treatment that I will have my smooth wart free heels again. The biggest and deepest wart on my left heel was about one inch in diameter, now it's almost gone! Thank's again for your help!

  • Edie from Florida: I ordered the Curad pads and the sports tape from Amazon. Together they were under $10. While I waited for them to arrive, I used drawing salve (Ichthammol Ointment 20%) for several days. I applied it twice a day and put a bandage over it. I got my supplies and started using them on a Saturday. Tuesday I changed them out. The following Saturday, I pulled off the dressing and the wart came off with it. It only took a week!

  • Ben W 30% salicylic acid bandageBen W plantar wart afterBen W from overseas: It worked. Took about 3 weeks. As I'm overseas so the brand of salicylic acid pads you mention wasn't available but found equivalent. Of note, prior to this treatment I had cut out the wart and filed clean the skin with a pumice stone. (The wart was on my heel.) This seemed to work and it looked gone. But then it came back.

    Then I tried the salicylic pads. It's advertised as for use with "corns" -- it's 30% salicylic acid. Sticky like a bandaid with dab of product at center. Made in Korea. It was a wet ugly mess for a while there. Looked like I took a bullet in the heel. I wasn't sure when to stop. But did stop after it appeared pads weren't doing anything more, weren't burning in much anymore. Figured that if came back I'd treat again. But then healed up nicely. Sorry didn't photo before and during -- wasn't sure it would work. But have attached after photo. The tiny white spot is what's left now -- been about month since removed pad. Foot print lines are back.Thanks very much for posting remedy. It's really important and very cost effective. Good public service.

  • Dayton D from Illinois: I had a very painful plantars wart and learned of the duct tape method on the internet. Tried it for 3 months. Used pumice and other sanding methods before applying fresh duct tape each day. Last visit to the Dermatologist and wart was completely removed. Dermatologist recommended mediplast if it returns but I am very satisfied with removal results using grey duct tape.
Also see Curad Mediplast Customer Reviews at Amazon.com.

Reminder: Do not attempt a salicylic acid treatment (such as Mediplast) if you have diabetes or poor circulation. If you have pain or discomfort, stop the treatment and consult a physician.

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