What causes warts? When you were a child, did you believe that you could get one from touching a frog or a toad? Of course that’s not true. Plantar warts are caused by contact with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and almost everyone will get one at some point.
Exposure to HPV is inescapable. You come into contact with it at home and in public spaces. We encounter various strains of HPV when we touch objects, when we walk without socks and shoes, and when we touch others, for example by shaking hands. Too small to be seen, the virus enters the body through the top layer of skin then causes a sudden and explosive growth of skin cells in the layer below, resulting in a small bump that we call a wart.
Most of the time, contact with HPV is harmless and goes unnoticed. Occasionally, a wart occurs but, with care, you can reduce your risk. Here are seven simple steps recommended by Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A.’s Dr. James M. McKee:
- Stay clean. Wash your hands often. Use warm water and soap and lather for at least 20 seconds.
- HPV gets in through small nicks and cuts. Visit your podiatrist regularly to make sure your feet are healthy and well-maintained.
- If you choose a professional pedicure, make sure that your salon practices good hygiene.
- The virus thrives in warm, humid places. Avoid walking barefoot in public showers and on swimming pool decks.
- Dry your feet if they get damp or wet.
- Don’t share socks or shoes with others.
- Periodically spray shoes with disinfectant such as Lysol. This will take care of any virus living there.
Never touch a wart, even on your own body. This can move the virus around and allow the wart to multiply. If you have a wart, keep it covered with a bandage to prevent it from spreading. Never rub it or pick at it. Unfortunately, your wart isn’t going to disappear without intervention. Over the counter remedies are ineffective and the at-home solutions can do more harm than good. A podiatrist can help you get rid of that wart once and for all.
Do you have a wart that needs treatment? James M. McKee, DPM, FACFAS is here to help you. Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. is equipped with state of the art technology to maximize effectiveness and minimize discomfort. Call us at 410-224-4448 or click here to schedule an appointment at our convenient Annapolis office today.