Foot warts are common. Although there are a variety of warts, they’re almost always plantar warts caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). These warts typically appear on the soles of your feet.
They’re usually harmless, but they can be embarrassing. Depending on their location, they can even be painful to walk on.
Foot warts are treatable, but it's always better to prevent them in the first place. Lisa Burson, DPM, Joe Aoun, DPM, at The Foot & Ankle Specialists offer comprehensive foot care, and we’re here to help you keep your feet as healthy as possible.
Though there’s no surefire way to guarantee you’ll never get a foot wart, you can do plenty of things to lower your risk. Here’s what to do.
Maintain good foot hygiene
One of the best ways to prevent foot warts and keep your feet healthy is practicing good foot hygiene. Regularly wash your feet with soap and water, and thoroughly dry them afterward. Keeping your feet clean and dry helps create an unfavorable environment for both the HPV virus and other germs.
Avoid direct contact with warts
The HPV virus can spread through physical contact, so that means you can get it from someone else who has plantar warts. If you come into contact with someone who has foot warts, avoid direct contact with the warts. If you have warts on your own feet, avoid touching them to keep the virus from spreading further.
Don't share personal items
Since HPV spreads through close contact, you shouldn’t share personal items with someone who has foot warts. Common items that can spread foot warts include towels, socks, and shoes. Not sharing these items with others helps minimize your chances of contracting the HPV virus.
Avoid walking barefoot in public areas
Walking barefoot in public can expose your feet to the HPV virus, which increases the likelihood of developing foot warts. Always wear shoes or sandals when walking in spaces like swimming pools, locker rooms, and saunas. This simple step can significantly reduce the risk of viral transmission.
Strengthen your immune system
A strong immune system can help fight off viral infections, including HPV. You can strengthen your immune system and lower your risk of foot warts with healthy lifestyle choices like eating a balanced diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
Regularly inspect your feet
Along with routine washing, check your feet for signs of warts regularly. The earlier you spot warts, the sooner you can get treatment and reduce your risk of further spread.
Plantar warts may look like rough, grainy, or hard patches on the soles of your feet. Sometimes, they have small black dots at the center. If you notice any changes on your feet, schedule an appointment with our team to get the care you need.
Foot warts can be bothersome and embarrassing — but the good news is that they’re largely preventable. For more tips about protecting your foot health, book an appointment at The Foot & Ankle Specialists. Call our offices in Bay City, Caro, or Lapeer, Michigan, or request an appointment online now.