Plantar Warts: Prevention & Tips

Plantar WartsPlantar Warts can be extremely painful, uncomfortable, and unsightly. While there are steps you can take to prevent the development of plantar warts, there may be scenarios that put you at an increased risk. With the right precautions, plantar warts may be prevented and by remaining vigilant, you can have a podiatrist effectively treat the area early on.

Due to the fact that warts can develop weeks after contact with the human papillomavirus (HPV), it’s very difficult to isolate where the majority of warts spread. That being said, areas like communal showers, the areas surrounding pools, gyms, and changerooms are all high-risk locations.

The team at Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois has expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of all foot and ankle-related conditions, diseases, and injuries. We offer our patients comprehensive treatment protocols along with valuable insights into how they can achieve optimal foot and ankle health in the long term. This article highlights a few ways you can help protect yourself from developing plantar warts.

Click here to learn more about how we treat Plantar Warts at our office.

How To Avoid Contracting Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are raised, painful lesions on the bottom of the foot due to a viral infection acquired underneath the skin. Although warts can occur throughout the body, they are very common on the bottom of the foot. These are generally due to HPV (human papillomavirus). Even a small break in the skin can allow for the virus to penetrate the foot. This causes painful lesions that are very difficult to eradicate unless effectively treated by a podiatrist.

Don’t Walk Barefoot, Especially In Public Settings

Public areas are much more likely to contain communicable viruses and bacteria as these are areas where people congregate and spread bacteria onto common surfaces. Walking barefoot exposes your feet to these surfaces and the potential hazards contained on them.

Adding to that, walking barefoot exposes your feet to possible injuries and sharp surfaces that can create an opening in the skin, allowing things like HPV to enter under the skin.

Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry

Our feet are designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear, but improper hygiene and damp/wetness are two factors that can drastically impact the skin on your feet. Poor hygiene can cause damaging skin conditions, while wet or persistently damp skin can weaken the outer layers, making cuts, blisters, and abrasions more common. 

This allows for multiple ways that HPV can find its way into the foot and lead to one or more plantar warts.

Change Your Socks and Shoes Frequently

On the thought of clean feet, you should also closely monitor your footwear, including socks. Your feet sweat, shed skin cells & oils, and the warm, closed environment of shoes are the ideal environment for the proliferation of bacteria.

You should be changing your socks every day, perhaps multiple times a day if you go to the gym, accidentally get them wet, or sweat more than the average person. Shoes obviously have a much longer shelf life than socks, but it’s worth using anti-bacterial spray on your shoes to prevent unhealthy foot scenarios.

What If I Am Prone To Plantar Warts?

We have taken a look at prevention, but isolating existing warts is equally important to stop them from spreading to other parts of the body or to other people.

Avoid Touching Warts – Including Your Own

It’s important to maintain high levels of hygiene so you don’t accidentally spread HPV plantar warts to other people around you. But, just because the wart is on your body, don’t let your guard down – because it’s absolutely possible to spread plantar warts to other parts of your own body! 

There are varying degrees of contagiousness, but the best defense is to just leave your warts alone. Avoid contact with them as much as you possibly can.

Wash Your Hands Before & After Touching Plantar Warts

Once warts have set in and you attempt to manage or treat them – if your hands come in contact with them, you need to maintain a very high level of hygiene! While your feet remain fairly isolated from the rest of your body – your hands allow the virus to spread from your feet to virtually any area of the body your hands come into contact with.

Bottom line, if you have to touch your warts, wash your hands thoroughly.

Don’t Pick Plantar Warts!

Picking is never the solution! You might need to fight temptation or the urge, but picking is almost always a bad idea. Not only does it agitate the area, making it more pronounced and prone to inflammation or irritation – but it also greatly increases the chances of contagious material being transferred from your hands to other parts of the body or onto shared surfaces.

Avoid Using Hygiene Tools On Affected/Non-Affected Areas

When you are going through your foot hygiene routine, make sure you do not use tools on the area around your plantar wart, and if you accidentally do, don’t continue using it on unaffected areas as this is an easy way to spread plantar warts! 

Abrasive tools like files and pumice stones are commonly used for foot hygiene and maintenance, and as such are notorious for spreading the contagious materials in plantar warts.

As always, never share your hygienic tools with anyone, regardless of how ‘close’ you are with that person. 

Plantar Wart Treatment Available in Algonquin, Illinois

The team at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Illinois can provide expert diagnosis and treatment of Plantar Warts. We have a comprehensive range of treatment options to quickly and effectively eradicate the viral material from your foot. For more information, click here to learn more about how we treat Plantar Warts at our facility.

Call our offices to speak with a member of our team or schedule a consultation online today!

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