November 13, 2012 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Ouch-filter: I have a vicious plantar wart that is paining me so much that it's getting difficult to walk. 2 part question about pain management and treatment options inside. Please halp!

I actually have a few plantar warts on both feet (eeeew) - I first noticed them in January, and I'm assuming they were most likely acquired at the gym where I go to swim laps. (I've since become much better about remembering to wear flip-flops on the pool deck and in the locker room.) They haven't been much of a bother till about August, when one in particular, located on my left foot, mid-sole, started noticeably hurting when I would go running. Since then, the pain from that wart has only increased, to the point where it's uncomfortable to walk on it, so I have been limping around a bit. As of this past weekend, the wart now hurts at all times, even when I'm just sitting around not putting pressure on the foot. If I were to rank the pain on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say walking on it is a 9 and just sitting around is about a 4.

Things I have tried so far:

1. Those salicylic acid wart pads from the drug store - after a couple of days the stinging was unbearable and the skin around the wart was crazy tender. I could have probably stuck it out longer but I really felt like the soles of my feet would burn off.

2. Duct tape. I started duct taping this wart (and the other smaller ones on my other foot) shortly after I noticed it was there in January and gave up around July when it didn't seem to have any noticeable results.

3. Soaking the warts with apple cider vinegar. Tried this along with the duct tape therapy.

4. Suffering silently. This is no longer working.

I'm trying to get an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible but it is proving a bit difficult given the upcoming holiday, so I probably won't be able to get this addressed medically till early December. In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions for me as to how to mitigate the pain? Are there special inserts I could put in my shoes, or should I bandage the wart a certain way to provide shock absorbency?

My second question is, what exactly would a podiatrist do about a wart as severe as this? It's pretty damn big at this point - about an 1/4th of an inch diameter (eeeeeew). I can't imagine freezing would be a terribly effective option at this point (though it might work for the smaller warts I have). Would they dig it out? At this point, I think that's what I would prefer, but IANAD. Has anyone had a plantar wart surgically removed before? How long is the recovery time and how painful is it? I've attempted to Google this and have only really come across a bunch of terrifying YouTube videos that I cannot bring myself to watch.

Any input from medical professionals or fellow plantar wart sufferers welcome.
posted by thereemix to Health & Fitness (51 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They cut or freeze those suckers all the time.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:10 AM on November 13, 2012

I have had plantar warts before. I have never actually had a podiatrist go in and cut one out, but it's been discussed. It was explained to me at the time that the procedure would be painless and that I would be able to walk out of the podiatrist's office. It was also explained that it is not 100% effective, however. Since I elected not to actually have the procedure, I do not know if the doctor was being straight with me about the pain and such. We all know that "you may feel a little pressure" sometimes means "you're about to feel like someone is driving a shard of glass into your foot".

The other option the podiatrist gave me was salicylic acid, which you've already tried. That didn't work for me either, by the way. The only thing that worked was waiting it out, which took years. But then, my warts never caused me any pain. If they had, I would probably have gone back to the doctor to get them surgically removed.

In the meantime I would take tylenol or whatever and I would look into getting those little ring-shaped pads that you can get at the drug store for corns and such. Something like these.
posted by Scientist at 8:12 AM on November 13, 2012

Anecdata: when I was a kid, I got them all the time. The doctor froze them off for me, but they kept coming back. I switched to leather shoes (including the insole) and they went away, never to return.
posted by small_ruminant at 8:12 AM on November 13, 2012

I would think that the the donut bandage method of treating a blister would help until you can get it removed. If you've had the wart since January, it's probably pretty deep and will need to be removed. I had this done in high school. A single shot of novocaine was the only pain. I was able to walk the next day (although I took a day off school) and mine was probably twice the diameter of yours, and thus likely deeper.
posted by mkb at 8:13 AM on November 13, 2012

Also, the freezing wasn't painless, but neither is walking on the warts, and I don't remember the freezing part being too much worse than the pain I was experiencing regularly anyway.
posted by small_ruminant at 8:13 AM on November 13, 2012

My oldest son suffered from warts for three+ years. At one time, I had a long list of wart treatments, none of which proved to be very effective until he was diagnosed with CF, at which point I began using 1.5 -2 times the standard dosage. Most of it cleared up in about six weeks.

You might try taking lysine orally. It's a protein. I don't know a dosage.
You might try vitamin E topically and/orally. Topical vitamin E should help ease the discomfort.
One recommended treatment is 100,000 units of vitamin A orally for a month.

What worked for my son: six weeks of vitamin A @ 160,000 units/day orally, plus vitamin E both orally and topically.
posted by Michele in California at 8:16 AM on November 13, 2012

The podiatrist may be able to treat it with salicylic acid. They can prescribe it in higher concentrations than are available OTC.
posted by mkb at 8:17 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

They cut or freeze those suckers all the time.

Or even burn 'em off with lasers -- and months later, they come back.
posted by Rash at 8:18 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

you need the BRUSH-ON salicylic acid...the pads are too you've learned, you dont want to get it on the skin AROUND the need the brush on kind so you can control it better...2-3 times a day...
posted by sexyrobot at 8:21 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I've used Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away kit. It worked the second time around, but there is never a guarantee that it will go away the first time. (I only had one, but it was stubborn, and I've also used the salicylic acid, which just didn't work for me.)

It's supposed to come with these donut shaped pads that fit around your wart so that you don't put weight on it.
posted by ethidda at 8:22 AM on November 13, 2012

I had the same huge plantars wart cut, frozen or burned off several times. It always came back. This went on for about 10 years. Luckily, mine didn't really hurt much and did not affect my ability to walk or run. Finally, a dermatologist told me if it didn't hurt it shouldn't be removed and I should stop worrying about. It vanished within 3 months and never came back.

Which is not to say you can wish your plantars wart away, but that they are very weird and don't be surprised if surgical removal fails at least once.
posted by COD at 8:24 AM on November 13, 2012

I had a couple plantar warts on my feet as a teenager, and we tried all of these other things; the only thing that worked for good is having them cut out. I was freaked out, of course (I was like 12), but it was an outpatient procedure in my pediatrician's office and I barely remember the recovery period at all, so it was mostly likely brief.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:27 AM on November 13, 2012

you need the BRUSH-ON salicylic acid

Agreed. I had a plantar's wart on my heel a few years ago and copious (more than the recommended dosage) applications of the salicylic acid/liquid killed enough skin so I could peel it down to where the rest of it could be dug out (thank you kindest of stepfathers.) Not the most pleasant of experiences but bearable.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 8:27 AM on November 13, 2012

What exactly would a podiatrist do about a wart as severe as this?

Warning: disgusting content below

Mine tried burning it off with a laser, after OTC remedies and freezing just encouraged it to grow to the size of a quarter (Worst. Wart. Ever). It hurt like hell, required several days of sitting around on the couch before I could comfortably walk or climb stairs, and had to be washed out with peroxide several times daily. After two weeks or so the scab that had formed over it peeled off and... the wart was still there, looking just like it had beforehand.

Six months or so later, the wart broke up and peeled off on its own, and hasn't come back since.

Summary: If you can treat the pain, you might be just as well leaving it alone. Plantar warts are caused by a virus and eventually, in its own sweet time, your immune system will notice and get rid of them.
posted by Flannery Culp at 8:29 AM on November 13, 2012

I recently went through the same thing, on my heel. Walking was a nigh impossible.

I went to a dermatologist rather than a podiatrist (mostly because I was seeing the dermatologist for other items).

She did several instances of scraping the bejeesus out of it, followed by laser burning. Between sessions (about once every 2-3 weeks) I used wart discs constantly. It took a good three months of this before she decided it was healed. It's not perfect back to normal skin yet - it's the consistency of a tough blister now - but there's no pain whatsoever.
posted by Lucinda at 8:35 AM on November 13, 2012

The "folk remedy" of rubbing a penny on the wart (a lot, to the point of irritation) really worked for me as a kid, but 1) I don't know if pennies are still made of the same material as then and whether that matters, and 2) I don't know what type of warts I had. The freezing treatment at the doctor would probably be the best thing to do first, but if it doesn't work, keep a penny in mind.
posted by Dansaman at 8:36 AM on November 13, 2012

I had crazy plantar warts when I was a kid. 8+ on one foot, and 12+ on the other, both in about 1 inch diameter clusters on the balls of my feet. My pediatrician just prescribed an acid (probably the same stuff as is in the wart pads, but likely stronger (I was a kid, and don't remember)). It was a thick liquid that I brushed on to the affected areas. I can't remember how long the treatment was, but I think it was at least a month. He didn't want to freeze them and cut them out because of the size and position.

The routine was twice a day soak my feet in warm water for 15 minutes, and then dry them well. Apply acid, and watch it turn the skin white. At first there wasn't any pain, but as the days went on, and the layers of skin came off, and the wart root become more exposed, there was definitely enough burning and stinging that my foot would jiggle in reaction to the pain. The acute pain was only for 1-3 minutes. I was between 6-8 years old and was able to do this myself with occaisional parental supervision (mostly just in the beginning). My feet were tender to walk on, but I didn't get excused out of gym class, so the pain should be mostly managable, YMMV.

I don't remember if I was told to by my doctor or not, but I also liberally cut away at the wart with a nail clipper up to my pain threshold. Especially after a bit of time with the acid, one could cut into the wart during the soaking, and then drive that acid in to the newly exposed wart flesh.

The key may be that with the thick (like thin syrup, not like gel) liquid I was better able to just get the affected warts; the pads might be getting lots of the non-wart skin.

On preview: Yeah, get the brush on OTC stuff and give that a try.
posted by nobeagle at 8:36 AM on November 13, 2012

Duct tape plus a crushed vitamin c tablet helped with mine, but you will need a doctor
posted by spunweb at 8:36 AM on November 13, 2012

According to people I know in dermatology, warts respond unusually well to the placebo effect.

So, like, just keep telling yourself all this nonsense is actually working, and there's a pretty good chance that it will.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:44 AM on November 13, 2012

Went to registered podiatrist who told me it was a blocked sweat duct in the foot & would need thousand dollar insoles. He cut it off but it came back (the wart, not the foot) . Realized was dealing with a quack.
Tried Duct tape and doing nothing for 2 years but no improvement.
Got Dr Scholl wart plasters and in 2 months it was totally gone. (this was a year ago)
posted by canoehead at 8:51 AM on November 13, 2012

The penny remedy mentioned above would be due to copper. American pennies do contain less copper than they used to. Copper is antimicrobial and kills microbes in about an hour. For this reason, it is used in some hospitals for things like hand rails in elevators. If you want to try it, buy a sample of copper material from somewhere and tape it to the wart for an hour or so. I have used copper to good effect, but mostly in much the way hospitals use it (to keep surfaces germ-free).
posted by Michele in California at 8:53 AM on November 13, 2012

I had a big mosaic plantar wart. I went to my GP several times, where she tried freezing it off with liquid nitrogen. To no avail. So eventually she referred me to a dermatologist, who used stronger techniques. (I think more thorough freezing?)

It went away after that.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:01 AM on November 13, 2012

My mum had plantars warts - I put banana peel on them, (for 3days), they dried up and fell off within a few days. Suggest you try it. Painless!
posted by zia at 9:09 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

When I had them, I had to really cut at them -- that is, I worked in a lab, and I used a narrow bladed scalpel to sort of dig them out, using the salicylic acid patches between times. It hurt, but at least offered the prospect of progress, which just waiting doesn't -- it's clearly growing inward, which is why it's starting to hurt, and sometimes it takes a long time for your immune system to wake up and get after this stuff. Mild injury might help in that regard.

The only time I had someting frozen off, that hurt too -- not during, but a long-term recovery, that part of my foot was sore. Still, it got rid of some of them, leaving me pestering the last one until it went away. One round of this surely made me flip-flop-insistant!

Anyway, meantime, one possibility would be to use those O-shaped pads that are designed for corns or something, sold in most pharmacies -- it would keep the direct weight off of the sore part to some degree until you can get some intervention going. Won't remove the internal pressure, but it's the only thing I can think of to minimize it.
posted by acm at 9:11 AM on November 13, 2012

I used the brush on treatment, duct tape, all that - what I'd do is soak my feet and use those metal callous removers that look like a microplane zester. It didn't seem to help much. I only started to see improvement when I used duct tape and a cotton pad soaked with tea tree oil, leaving it on overnight, and it wasn't more than a week and I was able to quit taking tylenol for the pain when I walked.
posted by lemniskate at 9:29 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had my warts cut out by a podiatrist. The procedure was outpatient and not very complex, although the injection of the anaesthesia hurt like hell for about ten seconds. The first day of recovery was extraordinarily painful, but it got better really rapidly. That was five years ago and there has been no recurrence.
posted by KathrynT at 9:49 AM on November 13, 2012

Pennies switched from copper to zinc sometime in 1982.
posted by brujita at 9:56 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I used the acid treatment and, like acm, cut mine out myself. It was easy to do provided you go easy and only cut out a little as you go. It didn't require specific expertise: I was 14 and used a broken off (new) razor blade. It didn't come back. I don't think it dared.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:10 AM on November 13, 2012

I haven't seen the use of beetle extract mentioned yet - that and other treatments are described here. (I had no idea mumps antigen had an application outside of vaccines!) You may be able to get in to see a generalist sooner than a podiatrist, and I think either could do something for your wart.
posted by lakeroon at 10:11 AM on November 13, 2012

My bad one took MONTHS of lasering and then finally, the dermatologist giving up and burning it off with something that resembled a woodcarving tool. It was not pretty, and it scarred like crazy after getting a staph aureus infection.

(Speaking of -- if you have it cut off, be very very careful, it's an easy location to get a staph infection).

Took ages to heal, but it hasn't recurred -- maybe because there's a lot of scar tissue there now. Still... it's finally gone! Feel free to Memail any questions, I'd be happy to answer anything I can.
posted by at 11:21 AM on November 13, 2012

You may be able to get in to see a generalist sooner than a podiatrist.

This. I had a wicked case of multiple plantar warts (aka mosaic warts) the summer after graduating from college. My GP did a lot of scraping with a curette and put an acid on the base to burn off the cells that had HPV (the virus that causes the warts). Ow. Ow. Ow. It hurt like hell, but they never came back.
posted by virago at 11:25 AM on November 13, 2012

Crazy, I know, but all of my plantar warts have responded (i.e.: gone away) when I've applied Vitamin E oil to them. I punctured the capsules and squeezed out the oil onto them every day. I remember it taking maybe a week or two?
posted by Lynsey at 11:37 AM on November 13, 2012

P.S. Elaborating on the banana peel method, mentioned by zia above and by a poster in a thread from 2008: Putting a small piece of banana peel on the wart and covering it with duct tape. The potassium in the peel is the active ingredient, according to the banana peel cure page.

Another suggestion: Freezing and cursing, from another poster in the same earlier thread
I had really bad plantar warts and ended up doing multiple freezing treatments over a year to knocck them down.

I also had my wife curse them. I think the freezing worked best, but the cursing was always entertaining.

"you suck wart, we want you gone!"
posted by virago at 11:41 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Note - I'm not a doctor. What's more, I've never even spoken with a doctor about this. I'll describe what I did, in case it's useful for someone, but I have no reason to believe it was safe or is a good idea. You really ought to talk to a medical professional before trying this.

I came down with a severe case many years ago, with numerous large warts that left me barely able to walk. I tried several combinations of folk remedies and over the counter medicines, and found them all completely useless. Even the thick salicylic acid solution used on its own did nothing for me. Eventually, based on internet advice (and driven by youthful exuberance and an extreme dislike of doctors), I wound up using a procedure very similar to what nobeagle describes above: using thick salicylic acid solution and manually cutting away layers of skin between applications.

Twice a day I would thoroughly wash my feet with plain soap and water. I'd then take a pair of sturdy, wide-tipped tweezers and a nail clipper and remove as much of the skin over the wart as possible. I was quite aggressive about it, and the result was very painful and involved some blood, but after a few minutes the pain would return to a dull ache. After removing the top layer of skin and letting the wound air-dry, I'd then paint on a liberal amount of the thick, gummy salicylic acid solution over just the infected area and leave it to dry. The tweezers and nail clipper were then submerged and shaken in a container of high concentration isopropyl alcohol to disinfect them after each use.

After a few days, the top layer of skin would become hard and come off fairly easily during each treatment, needing to be cut only around the outer edge of the region. The central part was visibly discolored and hard compared to the surrounding flesh. After somewhere between one and three weeks, I'd reach the bottom of the wart, and the last hard layer would peel off, taking with it all the discolored material, leaving only pink flesh behind. Once I reached that point, I stopped the acid and peeling treatment, and would simply wash and dry the region. After a few days the craters would begin to heal and stop hurting.

I also replaced all of my shoes and socks twice - when starting treatment, and after killing the last wart - out of fear of spreading them. While I had warts, I choose very thin synthetic socks and shoes with vents to let as much air as possible get to my feet, though I don't know if that was useful or not. A thick cushion foam pad attached to the shoes under the socks, as well as sparing use of both over-the-counter pain pills and a topical spray analgesic made walking bearable.
posted by eotvos at 11:44 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

A podiatrist is not the only doctor qualified to remove plantar warts. Eons ago I had a GP cut a few out right in his office, so you might want to check with your GP. Dermatologist also do this All The Time so see if you can get in to see your derm.

Good Luck, those fuckers hurt.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 12:07 PM on November 13, 2012

I had one on the ball of my foot in college. I had told my mother it was big, she told my dermatologist it was big, but when I was finally home on break and got to see the dermatologist, she took one look at my foot and said "god that's a big wart!".

Anyhow, she then proceeded to cut it out. Numbing the area was the worst part. Afterwards it was definitely painful for a few days an I couldn't swim for a while due to the hole in my foot. Today, you can see where scar tissue filled in the crater, but the wart itself never came back.
posted by nat at 12:17 PM on November 13, 2012

Oh, I also found that cushiony socks helped with the walking pain before I was able to get it removed.
posted by nat at 12:19 PM on November 13, 2012

2nding that dermatologists can get rid of warts.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 12:44 PM on November 13, 2012

Sorry if this has already been mentioned but I had them all over my feet and hands and got rid of them by consuming copious amounts of vitamin C. I tried to take 5000 mg a day and they disappeared in a month or two and haven't been back (this was about 15 years ago). IANAD and thisbis not medical advice so there's that but it might be worth a shot.
posted by dawkins_7 at 1:38 PM on November 13, 2012

Years ago, I have a lot of warts on both feet. The nurse stopped counting the left foot after 38 and didn't even bother starting on the right foot.

The doctor gave me 3x strength salicylic acid solution (his own recipe mixed in office) and a prescription for 3 bottles of formaldehyde.
Every morning after showering, I would slather on the acid, cover my foot with nylon footy things and then put on socks. Every evening, I rinsed my feet then soaked them in formaldehyde added into a shallow tub of water for 10 minutes, rinsed again and carefully dried my feet and put on a fresh nylon sock combo. A second acid slathering might also have happened but it's been years and I don't quite remember.
Within 3 weeks, 50% of the warts were gone. A month after that I was down to 3 or 4 warts on each foot - the stubborn ones.

Then I got lazy and stopped treatment after moving 45 miles away. A couple of years later, I was back up to 12 or so warts per foot. So I started using over the counter acid without the formaldehyde and also started really digging into the warts until I got the tiny black seed thing out of each one. No warts since then.

(the doctor's method was a lot easier and less painful)
posted by jaimystery at 1:53 PM on November 13, 2012

I had a couple plantar warts as a kid and my GP would freeze 'em and cut 'em. They did not come back. It was a relatively simple and painless process (relatively...). Nthing seeing your GP about it, which you'll be able to see sooner and will probably be cheaper.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:51 PM on November 13, 2012

My wife is a laser technician and medical assistant in a podiatry office for many years and I am going to pass this on to her....

As people have mentioned there are several ways of treating warts-salicylic acid, another acid called cantharone, freezing them, burning them (hyfrecation), lasering them (there are a few types of lasers for it) and as a last resort, cutting them out. When a patient has tried a few things already or struggled with warts in the past we will also prescribe Tagamet. It is an ulcer medication but has a great effect for many people on warts. Since you won't be able to go to the doctor for several weeks I really recommend you try it. It is available over the counter and as a generic and there are no known major side effects. The OTC dose is two tablets 3/x per day. The box will say once or twice a day but I am giving you the equivalent RX dose. It's not going to hurt anything to take it. Somehow the Tagamet boosts something in the immune system and helps to shrink the warts.

The pain of warts is usually from pressure so anything that you can do to try to relieve pressure from that area may help. You can experiment with different types of inserts and cut a hole in them around the area. You can also CAREFULLY scrape some of the skin off of the warts but don't be too aggressive. The warts are vascular so you might get bleeding, take precautions to prevent infection. Good luck and keep wearing the flippy floppies!
posted by j03 at 3:00 PM on November 13, 2012

I haven't seen this one yet, so here goes.
This was 35 years ago, I was prescribed an acid infused moleskin with instructions to cut little donut shapes out and apply to the skin surrounding the plantar wart while leaving wart itself exposed. I think the process deprives the wart of healthy tissue to thrive on as, over time, the donuts I was cutting out of the moleskin got smaller and smaller until the wart diminished entirely. You might be able to roll your own by making moleskin donuts and dribbling some salycitic acid into them once applied. I believe the donut shape also allows the wart to breath and thus fester less than when covered entirely.
posted by No Shmoobles at 3:26 PM on November 13, 2012

If you can believe it, I had an entire heel full of plantar warts that size, and the only thing that worked was going to the dr and having her freeze them off, and they also gave me prescription strength Tagament HB. There is something specific to Tagament that is important so they told me I couldn't substitute for another antacid or anything else.

This was over 10 years ago but I feel your pain because they were horrible. I also had this done at my GP so I don't think you need to wait for a podiatrist.
posted by fromageball at 4:36 PM on November 13, 2012

I had one in high school and it was lasered off. Unlike a lot of people, the lasering took the first time, and thank god, because that wart was so painful. It's never come back. The scar is huge though.

I will say, however, that the process of getting it lasered was really unpleasant. The injection of the anesthesia into the wart was really really painful. If I had to do it again, and this is my advice to you, I would ask the doc if I could take a Xanax beforehand.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 4:41 PM on November 13, 2012

In high school, I had one on my right foot that was very painful and about the diameter of a pencil eraser, and about as deep. It was cut out in the dermatologists office and the numbing shots were far more painful than the rest of the procedure. My doc left the wound open and it took a few months (IIRC, could have been less time) for the crater to fill in and to stop hurting.

He gave me the wart in a small jar of formaldehyde, which fifteen-year-old me thought it was kind of cool.
posted by heathergirl at 6:12 PM on November 13, 2012

I had one. It hurt to walk on. I had it burned off via chemicals, lasered off, and sliced off. I also tried duck tape.

None of this worked except getting it sliced off. The very bad news is once removed that way, you don't have any skin there and walking on it hurts. It hurt so much I wish they had given me crutches.

YMMV, as usual.
posted by chairface at 7:15 PM on November 13, 2012

I had one for a couple of years that wouldn't go away despite repeated use of salicylic acid treatments from the pharmacy (it would generally shrink a bit, but always return a week or so later). In the end I gave into my mum's repeated suggestion that 'tea tree oil solves everything', and started to apply a couple of drops every night, rubbing it in well.

It started to shrink pretty much straight away, and also got a lot softer and appeared to be less 'attached'. I still had to dig at it a bit with tweezers to get the last of it out, but that was quite easy as it had pretty much died by then and didn't put up much of a fight. It never came back after that. Could have just been a coincidence, but it had stuck around pretty stubbornly for a good 2 years before that and there was a pretty marked change after I started with the tea tree oil. It says on the Wiki page that it seems to have anti-viral properties, so that would make sense. Worth a try anyway!
posted by amerrydance at 5:50 AM on November 14, 2012

Believe me, I feel your pain. I have tried freezing, surgical removal, duct tape, and salicylic acid, none of which worked. This is what worked for me:
  1. Wash affected area.
  2. Apply salicylic acid stick-on patch from Dr. Scholls (either with cushioning or without).
  3. Tape over patch with athletic tape.
  4. Wait one week. If the tape starts coming off, just tape over it with more.
  5. After one week, remove the tape and patch.
  6. Soak foot in bucket of warm water and vinegar (I use about two cups vinegar/gallon) for 10 minutes.
  7. Pumice the bejeezus out of that sucker.
  8. Dry foot thoroughly and repeat if necessary.
Following this procedure works for me in about 2-4 weeks. After you're done, be sure to throw out that pumice stone. Good luck!
posted by Shoggoth at 5:50 AM on November 14, 2012

I had a case that I got from the pool that lasted for about 8 years. They were smallish but painful to walk on. I had them burned with the cup method. That resulted in huge blisters that were even more painful and wasn't very effective. I also tried the acid pads, the acid gel, and duct tape but none were effective. What finally worked for me was
1. Time: yes, your body will eventually get around to realizing these things are bad.
2. scraping + burning: a doc scraped the heck out of the surface, even drew blood, then dabbed the coolant on. Suprisingly unpainful.
3. Boosting my immune system. I tended to have outbreaks of aczema and a new wart pop up after a cold or long spells of treating my body poorly. I guess I tried getting enough sleep and taking some multi-vits. This is not scientific enough for me so not sure if this really worked.

Really, I'd say time is the best cure. Concentrate on making your foot comfortable.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:55 PM on November 27, 2012

Hi folks - went to the podiatrist and was told that what I have is not a plantar wart but is, in fact, a plugged sweat pore. Apparently all of the tiny wart-like things I have on my feet are plugged sweat pores. So. As much as I was hoping to have the doctor cut the damn thing out of my foot, looks like I'm on a regimen of medicated foot lotion to slough away dead skin, and then assuming things don't get better in a month or so I'll be back for more aggressive intervention. Super frustrating because my foot still hurts and walking hurts and I certainly can't run. I'm hoping that making little moleskin donuts will help pad things.

Kind of an anti-climacting ending, really...but I appreciate eveyrone's input. Thanks!
posted by thereemix at 4:08 PM on December 1, 2012

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