Preventing Plantar Warts

With the warm weather of the summer your podiatrist usually sees a rise in plantar warts.

A plantar wart appears as a hard, grainy growth at the bottom of the foot, usually on the heels or balls of the foot. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and usually contracted in common bathing and swimming areas, such as public pools and gym showers. Plantar warts are a very common problem in the United States, with over 3 million cases reported annually.


Plantar warts, while not particularly harmful, can be quite painful to walk on. Fortunately your podiatrist has several methods of dealing with these painful foot warts. Salicylic acid is a chemical used to peel away dead skin cells. It is available both over the counter and as a stronger prescription. Application is required daily for several weeks to in order to see any effect on the plantar wart. Most podiatrists prefer the use of cryosurgery, in which the wart is frozen with liquid nitrogen or a similar chemical to destroy the wart.


While plantar warts can be difficult to treat, prevention is easy. The use of flip flops in common areas, especially hotel rooms and showers, athletic club locker rooms and showers, and indoor swimming pools, is recommended. If you already have a plantar wart it is recommended that you cover the wart with an adhesive bandage while using these common areas to avoid infecting others.


So if you or a loved one is suffering from painful plantar warts, please contact the podiatrists at your nearest Ankle & Foot Associates location to schedule an appointment with our friendly doctors and staff.

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