Can I Get a Pedicure If I Have a Wart on My Foot?

Pedicure Tips and Tricks

Row of six small bottles of nail polish in various shades of pink, overhead view
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I'm in a wedding this month and as part of our pre-wedding activities, all of the bridesmaids and bride are getting pedicures. I have a wart on the bottom of my foot, and I don't know if they'll actually give me a pedicure! I'd be totally embarrassed if they asked me to leave once I was sitting there. What do you think? Should I tell them? Should I pretend it's not there? How can I get rid of it fast? Macy, from Minnesota


The wart you most likely have on the bottom of your foot is a plantar wart, a sometimes painful, always annoying problem. This type of wart is usually flat. I read that it is estimated that 10 percent of the population currently has a plantar wart, so you are not alone. Let's first explain just what this wart is before answering your question.

What Are Warts and How to Get Rid of Them 

Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). You can actually get the virus years before the wart appears on your skin. Warts can seem to appear out of nowhere, since you won't know that you have been infected with the virus. The virus can enter your body through a cut. People with weakened immune systems are more likely to get the virus. You can live for years without any symptoms that you were infected by this virus. One of the biggest issues with warts is that they are highly contagious, and this why getting a pedicure when you have a wart on your foot is a big problem. 

Once you see that you have a wart you should treat it immediately. The internet is full of do-it-yourself ideas for getting rid of warts — everything from putting duct tape on it to using bananas or apply cider vinegar on your wart. While you are welcome to try as many of these home remedies as you'd like, keep in mind that they very rarely actually work. Your time and money are better spent either going to a doctor or buying an over-the-counter treatment that has been proven to work. 

Doctors can use liquid nitrogen to freeze a wart off. You may need to see the doctor a few times before the wart permanently disappears. Other methods of wart removal by doctors include laser treatments or even surgery. In addition, a doctor can provide a patient with prescription strength salicylic acid or other ingredients in order to treat the wart at home. While this last method can be done in the comfort of your own home, it does take time in order to work.

You can also easily purchase products online to use at home that can help get rid of warts such as Compound W Wart Remover or Duofilm Liquid Salicylic Acid Wart Remover. These products have about a 50 percent success rate. Products like these are not expensive, so they are definitely worth trying if you do not have time to make it to the doctor or cannot get a doctor's appointment immediately.

Warts and Pedicures

You can definitely try to treat your wart before the pedicure and the wedding. Since the wedding is already this month, you do not have a lot of time to treat the wart. Your best bet is to go see a doctor in order to try to get rid of the wart as quickly as possible before the wedding festivities. Since you are pressed for time, going to a doctor to have the wart frozen off is definitely your best bet. 

If your wart isn't gone by the time your pedicure appointment comes, we would suggest foregoing even trying to get a pedicure. Warts are viral and can spread easily. If you were to have your pedicure and the salon didn't disinfect properly, your wart could become someone else's big problem next. You certainly do not want that to happen. Not only could you infect your nail tech by an accident, the virus could easily spread from their hands, the pedicure tools, or even the basin you soaked your feet in to someone else at the nail salon — employee or client. As upsetting as it sounds to miss out on this fun event, if you can't get rid of that wart before the pedicure, you should not have a pedicure.

But that doesn't mean that you have to completely sit out in the fun. You could do a pedicure at home and go for just a polish change at the salon. Just make sure you bandage your wart and let them know it's there. They won't mind and will appreciate you letting them know before painting your nails. You could also consider getting a manicure while everyone else gets a pedicure.

Updated by Hanah Tetro