While unsightly and potentially embarrassing, the good news is that plantar warts are harmless and usually go away without treatment. However, healing generally takes a long time – sometimes up to 2-3 years. If you are concerned about your warts or unsure if the lesion on your foot is indeed a plantar wart, it is a good idea to see a podiatrist. If you are in the NYC area, Best Foot Doctor is a highly qualified podiatrist clinic with a trustworthy reputation for caring for people’s feet. We service the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens area and would be happy to schedule an appointment to meet with you to take a look at your plantar warts.
Where Do Plantar Warts Come From?
The HPV virus causes plantar warts in humans, which have over 100 different strains. These warts are most commonly seen in teenagers, and young children since their immune systems have not fully developed, and they struggle to fight off the virus.
The virus is prevalent in public areas, especially where things stay moist and warm. Public pools, showers, and gyms allow the HPV virus to grow and thrive. Anyone with an open wart can transmit the virus to others by wearing bare feet or sharing towels or equipment.
How Do I Know If I Have Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts tend to appear in one or more of the following five ways.
- You feel pain in your feet where a lesion exists. Plantar warts tend to settle in the balls or heels of the feet, where the weight of your body rests.
- You find hard or thick skin that feels like a callus but covers a spot underneath. Often plantar warts grow into the foot underneath hardened skin.
- You find a growth on the bottom of your foot that feels rough or grainy.
- Your feet have tiny black dots on the soles. These are small clotted blood vessels, although they are sometimes mistaken for wart seeds.
- You find a lesion that interrupts the natural skin patterns of your feet.
While they are generally harmless, they can be painful and are highly contagious, both to others and to your own body. Therefore, you must care for, clean, and cover your wart properly so it does not spread to other areas of your body.
7 quick tips on how to prevent plantar warts
If you do not already have warts, you can prevent yourself from contracting the HPV virus by following the seven guidelines below.
- Wear flip-flops or water shoes in any public water area. This principally includes showers, swimming pools, gyms, and docks.
- Do not allow your feet to stay wet and moist for extended periods. If your feet are prone to sweating, wear absorbent socks and shoes that will enable your feet to breathe.
- Have your own towel, nail clippers, pumice stone, and other self-care items. Sharing personal care items with others can put you at risk of contracting warts from them.
- Prevent dry, cracked skin, where the HPV virus can enter the body.
- Cover cuts and scrapes.
- Wash your hands often, especially if you have been in contact with someone who has plantar warts.
- Do not touch warts – your own or someone else’s.
If you are concerned about your plantar warts or discover a lesion you are not confident is a wart, it is best to see a podiatrist. They will be able to rule out any other skin diseases and prescribe a proper treatment plan for you. In the NY area, Best Foot Doctor is available and ready to schedule an appointment with you.