In the summer, many people choose to leave their shoes behind and walk around barefoot. This way, we sweat less under the layers of socks and shoes, and we also get to experience the feeling of grass, sand, or warm pavement beneath our feet. However, if you are walking around barefoot in public areas like pools, locker rooms, dance studios, or pedicure salons, you must be more vigilant. This is because the virus that causes plantar warts can be picked up in these places.
Although plantar warts are caused by a viral infection, and they are often supplied and nourished by blood vessels, the virus itself does not make its way into the bloodstream. You do not need to worry about a plantar wart taking root in your bone—it can only exist in skin tissue. Warts have the appearance of scaly skin, they may arise individually or in clusters, and they affect children more than adults. The best way to avoid warts is to limit contact with potentially contaminated environments and to limit the sharing of shoes.
Plantar Wart Treatments
There are 4 main types of professional treatments, but each carries the possibility that the wart will come back. The chosen method depends on the needs of the individual.
1. Surgical excision has the highest success rate. There may be mild discomfort and risks include infection or scar formation, but normal activity can be resumed within a few days and it carries the lowest rate of recurrence.
2. Laser removal is very similar to surgical excision, but has a slight advantage when the warts are large or when there are a large number to remove.
3. Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the warts on the bottom of the feet, but this method can be very painful and take several days to weeks to heal.
4. Topical acids or creams are pain-free and will not limit your activity level. However, you may require several treatments, and they carry a relatively high recurrence rate.
If you think that you are developing one or more plantar warts, you should request an appointment at the Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston. At one of their six offices in the North Houston, Texas area, the doctors can limit the growth and spread of warts in their earliest stages. If you have questions about any other foot or ankle condition, like heel pain or ingrown toenails, please do not hesitate to contact us or call us at (281) 444-4114!