How plantar warts are transmitted
While anyone can develop a plantar wart, those who walk around barefoot are most susceptible to this condition, as well as those who have compromised immune systems. You can develop plantar warts if you have a small cut or abrasion on your foot, and expose yourself to bacteria by walking around barefoot on a regular basis. The most common venues that increase your risk for plantar warts are gyms, locker rooms, community showers, swimming pools, and other public places in which people walk around barefoot. In some cases, plantar warts can spread between family members if the infected person fails to wear slippers or shoes around the house.
Treating plantar warts
Some, but not all plantar warts may take up to two years to go away on their own, which means that you may need to visit a podiatrist for treatment to prevent the wart from worsening and spreading across your foot. There are several different treatments for plantar warts, including topical treatments, excision, and cryotherapy, in which the wart is frozen off your foot using liquid nitrogen. Your podiatrist may also apply salicylic acid to the plantar wart, which is relatively painless and associated with little to no downtime.
Preventing plantar warts
The best way to prevent yourself from developing a plantar wart is to protect your feet in public places. Wear shoes or sandals at all time in public areas, including in the gym locker room and shower, and make an attempt to cover any cuts or abrasions on your feet with band-aids or athletic tape to lower your risk even further. If someone in your household is suffering from a plantar wart, encourage them to wear slippers or shoes to prevent the infection from spreading to other family members.
In addition to avoiding walking around barefoot, do not share personal items with people who may be infected, such as socks, shoes, razors, and towels. In some cases, people who do not have visible warts on their feet may still be infected with HPV. Lastly, take good care of your feet by keeping them dry and clean at all times, and by making sure the soles of your feet are in good health. You could be more prone to developing a plantar wart if the skin on the soles of your feet are broken or injured in some way.
Have you noticed a strange growth on your foot, or suspect that you may have a plantar wart? Call Kansas City Foot Specialists to schedule an evaluation at (913) 338-4440, or request an appointment online so we can provide you with the proper diagnosis and get you back on your feet.