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Removing Plantar Warts with Salicylic Acid and Apple Cider Vinegar

Seems like plantar warts plague a lot of people, so I figured it was time for an update on the plantar wart remedy I wrote about two years ago.

In case you haven’t seen the original post on using apple cider vinegar to remove plantar warts, I wrote about my friend Pete’s plantar wart and how he was using apple cider vinegar and duct tape to remove it. A recent commenter inspired me to see if it actually worked, so I sent off a message to my friend Pete and posed the question to him. Here is his reply:

“I switched to a mixture of salicylic acid and apple cider vinegar but yes it did go away, completely. No signs of it at all. I got the salicylic acid OTC (over-the-counter) and would apply it twice a day under the duct tape with a gauze soaked in cider. After 2-3 months it slowly started to dissipate and then one day when I pulled the tape off, the whole thing came off. It was a very slow process but it was the salicylic acid in the end which did the trick.”

Salicylic acid is a natural product that comes from the bark of the willow tree and has been used as an anti-inflammatory and analgesiac since ancient times. Nowadays it’s often used in treating acne, wrinkles, aging, and other cosmetic skin issues. Since salicylic acid loosens and removes aged cells, I can understand why it might be helpful for plantar warts.

Pete writes: “One other point which I forgot to mention. About half way through the process when it was incredibly tender, my doctors only concern when he saw it was that of infection. I made a point of cleaning it several times a day since it was on my foot.”

Let us know if this works for you, or if you have found other effective plantar wart remedies!

16 Comments on “Removing Plantar Warts with Salicylic Acid and Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. I had these years ago never bother me but the past few weeks I have been on a new chemo pill & now my counts are down real low & I have on right in the center of my left foot & hurts like a S Of A B….,
    So I’m going to try the ACV & see what happens . Will make a point of it to come back in a week. Because I’m walking funny now it hurts soooo bad!!
    Being on chemo pills I know they whack out your whole system so I wanted something natural instead of more chemicals in/on my body

  2. This is the third time I’ve had a plantar wart in 20 years….I’m in sandals or bare feet ALOT. Anyway, the first time I went to the doctor to have it removed. It was pretty painful and it came back. I went back again and he told me to scrub it every night with hot water and soap, dry it, use a scalpel blade (straight razor blade works) to gently cut off obviously dead skin. Put salicylic acid on it. Keep repeating until all the tiny little black dots are gone. In all the posts I’ve read, most people don’t cut off the dead skin and let it slough off. Either way works. If you are a tad bit impatient and don’t mind cut off skin, then this might work for you. This time I’m going to try the added vinegar to see if it will go faster.

  3. Hi – Thanks for recommending salicylic acid for plantar warts. I have used it for two weeks and the hard skin came out. But there is still some white soft skin around the plantar area. When I touch it feels soft and doesn’t hurt the way it used to. Now I’m not sure if I should stop using Salicylic acid bandage on my foot or not for this remaining white skin.

    Please suggest.


  4. I have 4 kids and one at a time, all 4 of them have gotten plantar warts on their feet. We have battled and battled with each one similar to all the methods mentioned by others above. My Sister-in-law lives near Portland and got her hands on some of that “Magic wart Cream” from Flanders Pharmacy. My five year old has had this wart on his foot for probably about 6 months and if you ever let on treatment for a minute it just comes back bigger. Well, 3 days ago I started with the Magic Wart cream. Yesterday, my five year old comes in and says, “My wart is gone.” I looked and it was true! The whole thing had just fallen off completely! I am sold on this product. Shocked and amazed as well.

  5. I have two of these buggers on my right foot in the arch of all places. I guess the skin on my foot in other areas is just too thick. I have used the freeze away, the discs, and picked, cut, and anything else to get these to vacate. I’m taking advil 2-3 times per day now for 2 months and that’s not good for me I know. I finally broke down and went to a foot Dr. because they were both large and out of control – each the size of a dime. He said I could have the “cut” out but that I would be off my feet for a while and I have to work. So he recommended a product available locally called “Magic Wart Cream”. It’s a compound mixed by a local guru pharmisit. I suspect it has the ingredients you all have listed above. I’ve been using it for about a week and have had good success so far. The warts have already flattenned out and I’m only taking the advil 1 time per day at this point. I’m going to try to soak my foot in the ACV this weekend and then apply the magic cream – see if that helps move this along. Anyone interested google “Magic Wart Cream” by Flanders Pharmacy in Clackamas Oregon. I know a precription is required, so those of you out of town might be out of luck unless he does mail order. Also this cream is NOT covered by your insurance.

  6. My 9 y/o son has 2 plantar warts, one on his foot and one on his hand. We made 2 visits to the doctor to have them burned, this was not successful. The doctor recomended salicylic acid 40%. We spent 2 weeks using the Dr Scholl’s Clear Away Salicylic Acid discs. We put them on after soaking in water for 20min and scraping at them with a file. This softened the skin around the wart but that was about it. I decided to do some online research and read many success stories using apple cider vinegar. On Wednesday I had my son soak his warts in the ACV for 20 minutes. We then scrapped the wart really good with a file and applied the Dr. Sholl’s Salicylic Acid discs. We did this faithfully every evening. On Friday 3 days later, the wart on his hand came off after the ACV soak, while I was scraping it with the file. Today (Saturday, 4 days after starting the ACV) a large chunck of the wart on his foot came off after soaking his foot and scraping it with a file. I think the rest will come off tomorrow after we soak it in the ACV. I would have never believed that this would have worked so well, if I had not tried it myself.

  7. Had a wart on my leg (didn’t know what the bump was) and the dermatologist used liquid nitrogen on it last summer (about 7-8 months ago). It seemed like it was still there but smaller. When to the regular doc for a regular visit and she put liquid nitrogen on that one and a little one at the inside of the joint on my thumb (it looked like a little white “pimple”).

    After about a week the one on the finger had gotten bigger, it was like the treatment pulled it out from under the skin. Saw the ACV approach and the duct tape. So I tried the ACV on the thumb and the duct tape on the leg.

    I used a very small piece of cotton (from a cotton puff) put Apple Cider Vinegar and a bandage. The first night I had throbbing pain. THe next day I put a little thick lotion surrounding the treatment area to protect the skin. Mine never really turned black or hard, but it has shrunk a lot and now 9 days later there is a little hole in the middle of what looks like a small flattened blister. It seems like it is working.

    The leg… it seems like if was slowly getting a bit smaller. i think I am going to try the ACV to finish that one off – hopefully.

  8. I’ve had a plantar wart on the bottom of my right foot for some time now. For months, I didn’t mess with it at all. About six months ago, I started constantly picking at it. I would use tweezers, nail clippers, anything I could get my hands on. I just wanted to get rid of it. I’ve done small “surgeries” on myself many times, and I never got the wart out. I’ve done that countless times. Today, I’m trying the ACV treatment. I’m taking the cotton off the end of a Q-Tip, taking tweezers and dousing it in the ACV, applying it to the wart, and I keep it in place with a bandaid. I plan on changing it 3-4 times daily. It may take awhile, and a little bit of money to get the bandaids (I only get the smallest box I can) but I’ve heard more success stories than stories where it didn’t work, and I’m praying and hoping that this will be the answer to my problem. When I applied the cotton, it stung a little bit, but nothing that couldn’t be handled. It also burns a little bit to walk on it, but again, nothing too bad that I can’t stand. I’ll update in a few days to let everyone know how this is going for me. 🙂 wish me luck!

  9. I think I got it walking barefoot in the gym. i am still curing it with the Salicylic acid. like most of you mentioned it takes time to heal. the idea of the duct take is cool

  10. Not long ago I found a unattractive minor wart on the side of my index finger. I seriously want to do away with it. So far, I tried a handful of cures however nothing helped. Perhaps a few of the procedures given by you actually provide help.

  11. Personally I believe, warts are a severe skin issue, and the risks are in most cases underestimated! I believe proper treatment is important, better as quick as possible! Often many people are too ashamed, I guess, and do not make use of necessary treatment procedures fast enough. If you personally suffer from warts, better make sure to cure them as soon as possible!

  12. I’ve tried everything. EVERYTHING. Even went to a foot doc who burned the two plantar warts I had out, by carving two big holes in my foot. The holes healed, of course, and those warts were gone. But within just a few months, there was a cluster of them right there in the same area.

    So I started searching the web. Banana peels and duct tape, apple cider vinegar, liquid nitrogen… I tried it all.

    What worked? Salicylic acid and occlusion (tape or band aid) and time. 10 weeks to be precise. Every morning, pull the old band aid off, take a pumice stone and shave off the dead skin and dried salicylic acid, sometimes even use some clippers to remove thick bits of dead skin over the wart. Then after my shower, apply more salicylic acid and apply band aid. At night before bed, just remove band aid, more acid, another band aid. Repeat in the morning for 10 weeks.

    Nothing fast is a good idea. Slow is the only way to make sure that the virus doesn’t just jump from one wart to a new spot on the foot. The good news is that the majority of the pain was gone in just 2-3 weeks. Just remember not to stop the treatments just because the pain is diminished.

    Bad news, once you’ve had one, you’re more prone to get them. So keep your tootsies clean and dry.

  13. Hey there. I had a plantar wart once or twice as a young teen — I cured it by placing my thumb over it and rubbing it in a circle, as many times per day as I could remember. The idea is, it irritates the roots of the wart and it dislodges and dies.

    I have no idea if it has any founding in medicine whatsoever, but it worked — twice! They were gone — even the tiny mark — in less than three weeks.

  14. ACV works like a charm. Took about 2 wks to make the wart go AWOL–but it did. Don’t give up. Much more gentle than going to the doctor.
    author of The Healing Powers of Vinegar

    P.S. I used vinegar straight from the bottle. I applied the liquid to the bottom of my foot–probably about 4x daily.

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