Plantar warts can be some of the most frustrating skin infections to treat. When a patient presents seeking treatment, it is imperative to counsel them that warts often require multiple sessions, and thus visits to the office, for resolution.
For some, this can be costly and inconvenient. If your patient is unable or unwilling to make frequent return trips to the office or perhaps wants to use an inexpensive or alternative treatment at home, there is another option to consider.
There is some evidence that shows garlic may be helpful. A patient will need raw cloves of garlic, zinc oxide paste (a diaper cream), and either band-aids or duct tape. First, advise the patient to apply a thin layer of zinc oxide paste around the wart with a Q-tip or cotton tipped applicator. This is to help prevent burns of the unaffected skin from the garlic. Then, rub a thin freshly sliced piece of raw garlic on the wart and then discard the garlic. Garlic can burn the skin, so patients must take care not to apply this too aggressively or leave it on the wart. Afterwards, apply the band-aid or duct tape. Repeat nightly, and with time, the wart will hopefully diminish! Counsel the patient that this can take 4-6 weeks.
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