Preventing Plantar Warts
Warts, although unsightly to look at and occasionally painful, are usually harmless. They are caused by a virus and generally spread by walking barefoot on dirty surfaces, particularly those that are in warm, moist environments like community swimming pools and gym locker rooms. At NY Foot Health we want to help educate patients on how to prevent podiatric problems. Some tips to help avoid plantar warts include:
- Keeping your feet clean and dry
- Not walking barefoot—especially in public places
- Changing shoes and socks daily (or more often if you notice they are damp)
- Not sharing flip-flops, nail clippers, towels or socks with another person
- Avoiding touching warts on your own or another person’s body
- Monitoring the condition of the skin on your feet (and on your children’s feet) and reporting any unusual growths or rashes to your podiatrist (you can find a podiatrist in your area through our online directory)
- Recognizing Warts
Plantar warts are sometimes mistaken for calluses. They are usually hard and flat with a rough surface and tiny pinpoints of black in the center. The color of a wart can vary but many plantar warts are grey or brown. On the top of the foot, warts may appear more raised and fleshier. When warts form on the bottom of your foot, particularly the weight-bearing areas like the heel or ball of the foot that’s when they can be a source of pain, burning and discomfort. Although warts can disappear spontaneously they can also recur in the same spot.
It is not advisable to use over-the-counter preparations or other home remedies for warts. In many instances these are known to do more harm than good, destroying skin cells with acids or harsh chemicals. Your podiatrist will know how to get rid of the wart without harming the surrounding healthy tissue. There are a variety of treatment options available including C02 laser cautery and a simple in-office surgical procedure.