If pesky warts plague you, you’re not alone. Most people have at least one wart at some point in their life because they develop from a widespread and highly contagious virus most humans contract: the human papillomavirus (HPV).
HPV gets into your skin through small wounds, cracks, or cuts. When the skin on the soles of your feet gets infected with this common virus, it causes plantar warts to develop, which can look like this:
- A bump under the calloused layer of skin
- A fleshy growth or grainy, rough patch on the surface of the skin
- A bumpy change in the skin
Plantar warts can put added pressure on your feet, causing pain, irritation, or tenderness when you walk or stand. Fortunately, they aren’t harmful to your health. But if painful warts are left untreated, they can cause changes to your gait or make walking or running difficult.
At New Canaan Podiatry in New Canaan, Connecticut, board-certified podiatrist Jennifer Tauber, DPM, specializes in diagnosing and treating bothersome plantar warts. Dr. Tauber also knows that if you’re struggling with warts, chances are you want to know why you’re getting them in the first place and what you can do to make them go away.
Keep reading as we answer your questions about plantar warts.
Reasons you keep getting plantar warts
Because HPV is so widespread, you can pick it up in many locations, making it difficult to completely avoid getting plantar warts. It only takes one HPV infection to cause multiple warts.
This is because once the virus enters your body, it can spread, causing more warts to appear—especially if you touch the wart and then touch other parts of your foot or body. The virus can also stay on surfaces, so if you touch a surface with the virus, like towels, socks, or nail clippers, you can keep getting warts.
You might also keep getting plantar warts if you go to public places that have moist, warm areas where HPV thrives, like gym locker rooms, pools, or public showers, and don’t wear water shoes or flip flops, making it easier for the virus to enter your skin.
Ways to get rid of plantar warts
It’s important to note that not all plantar warts need to be treated. The virus runs its course, and warts will eventually disappear. However, if your wart is painful, affecting how your shoes fit or causing embarrassment, there are ways to get rid of warts sooner. Here’s a look:
You can try treating your wart using store-bought therapies. These over-the-counter (OTC) treatments typically contain salicylic acid in patch, liquid, or gel form. Remember that it can take months for the wart to disappear, and you must keep using the treatment even after the wart is gone to ensure it stays away.
If you want to make sure your wart doesn’t spread and stays away for good, a podiatrist can help with professional treatment. You should also seek help from a podiatrist if you aren’t sure the bump is wart, it starts bleeding, it is painful or makes it hard to walk, or changes in appearance.
Dr. Tauber examines your feet and recommends personalized plantar wart treatment. There are different options, and Dr. Tauber works with you to determine which best fits your needs. This may include:
- Laser treatments
- Prescription-strength salicylic treatments
- Electrodesiccation and curettage
Get personalized help for recurrent plantar warts by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone today with Dr. Tauber at New Canaan Podiatry.