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What Causes Plantar Warts?

What Causes Plantar Warts?

Do you have rough growths on the soles of your feet or between your toes? Do these growths cause irritation or discomfort? They’re likely plantar warts. 

Our board-certified podiatrists with Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, in Midtown or Downtown Manhattan routinely treat plantar warts in children and adults. Our medical treatments are effective at getting to the root of the plantar wart and removing it. 

What are plantar warts?

A plantar wart is an infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus has more than 100 different strains. A few of them cause these warts on your feet. 

Children are more at risk of getting a plantar wart than an adult, but adults get them too. Your plantar wart may have a thick, rough surface, and it might be a different color than your skin. 

These warts can cause discomfort because they’re abnormal growths not only on your skin but underneath it. A significant part of a plantar wart is beneath the part you can see. 

How did I get plantar warts? 

The HPV virus strains that cause plantar warts thrive in warm, moist environments such as locker room floors. The HPV virus is contagious. 

The virus can enter through a small cut or tiny opening in your skin. If you or your child walked through a locker room or on the pool deck without shoes or flip-flops, you could have gotten the virus that way. 

The virus spreads not only through skin-to-skin contact, but also if you share items such as towels, socks, or shoes that have been exposed to the virus. It can take a while for a wart to develop, so it wouldn’t be surprising if you were exposed to the virus in the summer but a wart didn’t pop up until the fall. 

What are effective treatments for plantar warts? 

Some plantar warts disappear on their own. If your plantar warts cause discomfort and disable your normal walking gait, it’s important to remove them. Plus, it’s never good to host an infection. 

Your podiatrist discusses treatment options. A liquid medication applied to your wart can eliminate the blood supply. In about a week, your doctor removes it. Surgery is another option. 

Cryotherapy (freezing) using liquid nitrogen is a common treatment to eliminate plantar warts, as is laser therapy. You might need two or three treatments using these methods. 

Preventing plantar warts 

Some common sense precautions can help you avoid plantar warts. 

Protect your feet in moist environments 

You may love the sauna, pool, or beach. Make it a habit to wear flip-flops or pool shoes in warm, moist environments. 

Clean between your toes as well as the soles of your feet when you bathe. Dry your feet thoroughly when getting out of the water. 

Purchase socks that wick away moisture. Use a safe disinfectant to clean your shoes. 

Don’t share personal items

It may be tempting to share a pool towel. It’s safer for each person to have their own towel when drying off. Don’t share socks or shoes. 

Don’t touch a plantar wart 

Try not to touch your plantar wart. If you do, wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap. Let your podiatrist get to the bottom of your plantar wart to eliminate this painful bump. 

Contact Manhattan Podiatry Associates for all your foot and ankle needs. Call our location most convenient to you or book an appointment online today.

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