Can Plantar Warts Be Prevented?

Can Plantar Warts Be Prevented?

Warts are noncancerous growths on the surface of your skin. They range in size, shape, and location, from flat lesions on the face to rounded lumps on fingers and toes.

One of the most common types of wart is the plantar wart: a callus-like growth that forms on the soles of feet. Although  most warts are harmless, they can be embarrassing or painful, depending on their location. 

Lisa Burson, DPM, and Joe Aoun, DPM, specialize in plantar wart treatment at The Foot & Ankle Specialists. Read on to learn more about these common warts, why they form, and how you can avoid them.

All about plantar warts

Plantar warts are caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV, infection. The virus enters your body through small cuts, scrapes, or breaks in the skin on the bottom of your feet, and a wart begins to form.

Plantar warts grow into your skin, creating a hard patch of skin that looks like a callus. Often, the wart has black pinpoints visible in the center.

Though plantar warts can grow anywhere on the sole of your foot, they’re most commonly found at the base of your toes, near the ball of your foot, or at your heel. Large plantar warts on weight-bearing points, like your heels, can be painful when you walk or stand.

Anyone can get a plantar wart, and some people are more susceptible than others. Children and teens in particular are more likely to have warts than adults.

How to avoid plantar warts

Most of the time, plantar warts are harmless and don’t pose a risk of complications. But sometimes, a plantar wart on a weight-bearing part of your foot can be painful — and you might be wondering if there’s a way to prevent them from developing in the first place.

There’s no way to completely prevent plantar warts. The strains of HPV that cause plantar warts are extremely common, and the virus can enter your body through even the tiniest cuts on your feet.

However, you can reduce your risk of getting plantar warts with a few simple habits. Start by never walking barefoot in places where other people are barefoot. Always wear socks or shoes around swimming pools, locker rooms, and changing rooms to reduce your exposure to germs.

Wash and thoroughly dry your feet every day, and always wear clean socks. If you or someone you know has an existing plantar wart, avoid touching, scratching, or picking at it.

Treatment options for plantar warts

Plantar warts may come and go on their own. But if you find yourself with bothersome plantar warts, you have treatment options.

Over-the-counter wart treatments can be effective for small, surface-level plantar warts. For larger or deeper warts, professional wart removal could be a better option.

Dr. Lisa Burson and Dr. Joe Aoun offer several noninvasive plantar wart treatments. After examining your feet and diagnosing your condition, they recommend the best wart removal method for you. In most cases, wart removal is a simple outpatient procedure with little to no downtime.

Learn more about plantar warts and wart removal at The Foot & Ankle Specialists. Contact the office nearest you by phone, or request an appointment online today.

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