Plantar warts are a common result of human papillomavirus growing on the skin. The term “plantar” simply refers to the location of the wart, on the sole of the foot. About 10 percent of youths have warts at any one time, and 22 percent of children will get a wart at some point.
The virus causes the skin to become thickened and deformed, and can be painful. Warts are largely unknown in traditional societies where people walk barefoot more often. In the Western world, we often pick up the wart virus in warm, moist places such as shower floors, indoor pools and changing rooms. Then the virus is able to cultivate inside the shoe and sock environment.
About 50 percent of warts disappear on their own within 18 months, with normal immune function. However it’s common to want to remove warts by choice because of aesthetic reasons, or they may become painful or infected. The virus is also quite contagious, so removal will help prevent the spread to others.
Problems with mainstream treatments
Over-the-counter wart treatments are generally based on acids which dissolve the keratin in the wart and the thick skin it has created. The issue with this is that the acid also affects the surrounding skin. This can irritate the skin, create a painful area larger than the wart, and may invite further infection or result in a scar. It may also worsen a condition that is mistaken for a wart.
Treatments from your doctor can involve freezing with liquid nitrogen, injection of medication, cutting with an electric needle, or laser surgery. These methods can be painful with a longer healing time and may cause a scar.
Benefits of treating plantar warts naturally
Natural treatment of plantar warts is much less toxic and does not harm the surrounding skin. Instead, many natural methods will support the immune system to overcome the wart virus and normalize the skin. The virus will die and the thickened area will naturally grow out as the skin layers shed.
Natural treatments may take some persistence, but they generally allow the area to heal completely. More forceful chemical treatments, on the other hand, physically remove the visible parts of the wart but may leave some of the virus dormant within the skin. This can lead to recurring warts on the same site later on.
Ideas for natural treatment
Essential oils—oregano, melaleuca, clove, lemon and cinnamon are effective. Apply 2 drops directly to the site and then cover with cotton socks before going to bed. Continue to repeat treatment even after the pain is gone, to ensure all of the virus has been removed.
Urine—Yes, pee! Use your own, of course. Dip a cotton ball in urine and tape or bandage it to the foot overnight, covering with a sock. Urine is commonly used in ayurvedic medicine. It’s actually completely sterile (bacteria- and virus-free) because of the uric acid, which kills warts too! It’s free and completely safe. Keep treating once or twice a day until the wart falls off.
Manuka honey—Manuka honey typically comes from New Zealand. It is highly antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, so much so that it is used in hospitals to heal wounds. Apply the same way as the urine. You can even use a little bit on the pad of a bandaid and wear this during the day.
Vitamin C—high doses of vitamin C are very effective against viruses. Intravenous vitamin C therapy has even been shown to kill viruses like ebola. To treat warts, crush a vitamin C tablet and mix the powder with a tiny bit of lemon juice. Apply this paste to the wart and cover with a bandage. Repeat until the wart falls off on its own.
Milkweed or dandelion—the “milk” of milkweed or dandelion are traditional remedies used by Native Americans. The enzymes in the milk will gently digest your wart! Break off some of the plant and apply a little milk to the wart, then cover with a bandage. Be sure to only apply topically and do not consume or get in your eyes. Apply twice daily until the wart is gone. If you have sensitive skin, dandelion is gentler than milkweed.
Don’t forget to eat real, whole food and supplement with fermented and cultured foods as well. These naturally bolster your immune system to fight off the human papillomavirus.
-The Alternative Daily