Plantar warts can easily be confused with foot calluses or corns. If you have ever noticed skin that looks dead and builds up on the balls of your feet, or a painful grainy growth, it could be plantar warts. This type of wart, known as Verruca plantaris, is not the same as regular warts. It is caused by contact with a virus known as the human papillomavirus, or HPV.
Most cases of plantar warts will go away without medical treatment as the immune system responds naturally. However, during the time that you have a plantar wart, you may need to take extra precautions in order to reduce the risk of spreading.
Here are 5 ways to stop the spread of plantar’s warts:
1. Keep Nails Short
Long fingernails are more likely to catch a wart, trapping pieces of the contagious virus underneath. Always keep fingernails clipped short and straight across, to avoid gathering dirt and grime underneath, spreading the virus.
2. Cover Warts
Always cover them to reduce the risk of transmission. By keeping the area bandaged, and applying an antibiotic ointment, you are much more likely to keep them from spreading to other areas…and to other people.
3. Keep Your Shoes On
If you have plantar warts on your feet – avoid going barefoot! Moisture will only worsen the likelihood of spreading and transmission to others. If you are visiting a gym or public shower, always wear shoes. One observational study showed that out of 146 adolescents, warts on the feet were 27 percent more likely on participants who used a communal shower.1
4. Practice Good Hygiene
It is always a good idea to always practice good hygiene. However, when these foot-specific warts are involved, it is essential. If you have a wart on your hand, always keep the area clean and dry, and change bandages often. If the warts are on your feet, do not wear open-toed shoes or sandals, and change your socks and shoes regularly. Keeping a wart-infected area clean and dry is one of the best ways to reduce spreading.
5. Keep Skin Healthy
Good news, you can prevent them. Healthy skin can fight off infection of the HPV virus more easily. Nourish your skin both topically, and from the inside out, with healthy skin foods like salmon, tuna, seeds and nuts, olive oil, and cocoa butter. Loaded with skin nourishing nutrients including omega-3 essential fats, protein, vitamins and minerals they are all great for your skin. Start eating these foods, and you may be able to stop plantar warts from spreading.
The Ugly Truth About …
Plantar warts are easy to contract from others. Follow these preventative tips to keep the wart-causing virus away from your healthy skin:
· Always practice good hygiene
· Never share makeup or other personal care products with others (razors, towels, socks, shoes, etc.)
· Wear shoes in public places, and use extra care especially around moist surfaces
· Always keep feet clean and dry inside shoes
· Bandage any open wound to avoid contact with the HPV virus, including shallow abrasions
One plantar’s wart is enough!
As a viral infection, plantar warts can spread quickly. Avoid the painful irritation of worsening a case of plantar warts at all costs with these five tips. If you feel that you may have a case of this contagious skin virus that is not responding or improving, contact your doctor right away to talk about prescription treatment options.
1. King-fan Loo S, Yuk-ming Tang W. Warts (Nongenital). Clin Evid Handbook. December 2009:580–581.