Treatment for Plantar Warts
Can you recommend something for stubborn plantar warts? I have tried pretty much every wart removal kit out there and I even experimented with duct tape! I have had liquid nitrogen treatments, used salicylic acid, lactic acid, pedophylin and the blister beetle juice called Cantharidin. None of these have worked! Help!
The Mayo Clinic describes plantar warts or varruca plantaris as noncancerous skin growths on the soles of the feet. They are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) that enters the body through tiny cuts and breaks in the skin. There are numerous strains of the virus and no single treatment is guaranteed to get rid of the warts.
Plantar warts often develop beneath pressure points such as the heels or balls of the feet. According to the Mayo Clinic, most plantar warts aren’t a serious health concern, but they may be bothersome or painful, and they can be resistant to treatment. This comes as no surprise to you!
The Mayo Clinic also highlights that plantar warts are more likely to appear on the feet of people with a weakened immune system. So in addition to tackling the wart lesion be sure to boost your immune system with healthy lifestyle practices. This includes a daily diet of nutritional food and drink, regular exercise (protect your feet if you are at the gym or pool), reducing stress and getting adequate sleep.
There are a number of essential oils that can be used to treat plantar warts but the following five are my picks for the stubborn ones. They are also great immune system supporters. Use only high quality essential oils! The botanical names of the essential oils are at the end of this article.
Clove bud essential oil has a number of properties that work well on plantar warts and benefit the immune system. It is antiseptic, analgesic, anti-infectious, antimicrobial and it is an immunostimulant. Its analgesic property helps with the discomfort of the wart.
Lemon essential oil is something of a ‘cure all’ in many cultures. The essential oil is antimicrobial, antiseptic, bactericidal and antiviral and is particularly effective for warts. It should not be used on skin that will be exposed to sunlight as it is phototoxic.
Ravensara or True Ravensara essential oil boosts anti-infectious, antimicrobial and antiviral properties and it is an excellent immunomodulant (supports the immune system). Ravensara is well-known as an active virus and retro virus fighter. Take THAT plantar wart virus!
Tea Tree has antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic and immunostimulant properties. It may be used with other essential oils to treat plantar warts or may be applied slightly diluted to the centre of the wart. Tea tree essential oil is known to oxidize if not stored properly which is, of course, counterproductive to healing. Be sure to use only high quality tea tree essential oil, store it in a dark bottle and keep it in a cool place.
Thyme (red thyme) possesses powerful antimicrobial activity and it is also an effective immunostimulant. It is known to stimulate the production of white blood corpuscles. Use this essential oil sparingly and well diluted. It is a dermal irritant.
Let’s get your wart ready for treatment! Emedicalhealth.com offers that the source of discomfort in most symptomatic plantar warts is the thickened layer of horny skin between the nerve-bearing tissues and the pressure created when we stand and walk. Simple, non-traumatic removal of the skin surrounding the wart and the build up of dead skin on the wart lesion can be accomplished with a pumice stone, foot file or scrub after the sole of the foot has been soaked in warm water for 10 minutes. Dry the foot well!
Now for a powerful essential oil blend. Into a small, dark glass sealable bottle with an orifice reducer blend the following:
- 1 tablespoon of jojoba base oil,
- 12 drops of lemon essential oil,
- 4 drops of tea tree essential oil,
- 3 drops of thyme essential oil,
- 3 drops ravensara essential oil
- and 2 drops of clove bud essential essential oil.
Apply only ONE drop, ONCE a day, directly onto the wart. Cover the treated area with a clean, dry bandage. Treatment may take a number of weeks to be effective. Be consistent, vigilant and patient.
It is important not to injure yourself with wart treatments! No matter which essential oil or essential oil blend you apply to the wart area, be sure to protect the healthy skin surrounding it. If the wart is in a hard-to-reach location apply the blend to a cotton swab and dab the centre of the wart with the swab. Should the surrounding skin become irritated, apply a small amount of Vitamin E or wheatgerm oil with a cotton swab to the reddened area. If irritation persists discontinue using the blend.
While plantar warts are relatively common and typically not something one should be overly concerned about, regularly assess the wart’s progress. If all of your efforts are not making a difference or you notice questionable change in its growth be sure to consult with your primary health care provider or a podiatrist.
Essential Oil Common and Botanical Names
Clove bud, Eugenia caryophyllata; Lemon, Citrus limonum; Ravensara, Ravensara aromatica; Tea Tree, Melaleuca alternifolia; and Thyme, Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol.
Barbara Power, Certified Aromatherapist