Warts

Warts are a virus, specifically the human papillomavirus or HPV and for that reason they are contagious. Warts can be transferred from person to person or from one body part to another. Many people get warts from places like swimming pools or locker rooms because the virus likes the warm moist environment theses places provide. Wearing plastic sandals can help to prevent getting the virus.

Be especially careful when you have cracks in your dry skin, cuts, scrapes, or wet soft skin from being in the pool for a long time because these things help to provide a point of entry for the virus.

Most warts are not painful. Warts on the bottom of your feet, called plantar warts, can be painful because you walk on them which can cause you to change the way you walk and cause pain in your joints or muscles. They are more flat than most other warts. Warts can be alone or be in clusters.

There are many remedies for warts including many different over the counter products. Some of them are peeling medicine (salicylic acid), freezing medicine, or even applying duct tape. It is wise to consult a doctor before you take any medications for warts.

If these conservative treatments do not work you can go to a doctor to get the wart treated in a few different ways. Your doctor can shave down the wart and apply different types of acids, returning weekly to repeat treatments for a few weeks until the wart is dead. Your doctor may also ask you to apply some of the acid solution in-between your visits. You may receive immune therapy to stimulate your body to fight the virus causing the warts by injecting the wart or applying a cream. You may have it surgically removed but this can cause some minor scaring and isn’t typically used to treat plantar warts. Another option is to get the warts treated with a pulsed-dye laser that cauterizes the tiny blood vessels in the wart killing the wart and causing it to fall off. Sometimes warts come back and need to be removed again.