We’re here to clear up some misconceptions about warts. No, you cannot get them from kissing a frog. Yes, they are unattractive. No, they are not harmful. Yes, they definitely are contagious. Oh, and witches aren’t the only ones who get them—just about anyone can. Children are especially vulnerable. That’s right, but not to worry. Here are some tips on how to treat them, as well as to prevent them from showing up in the first place.
What’s a Wart Anyway?
This bump is a non-cancerous skin growth caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV for short. There are many strains of the virus, which is why there are different types of warts. One of the most common appears on the bottom of the foot and is called a plantar wart.
Most of them will eventually go away over time, but since plantar warts are found on the sole of the feet, they can prove to be irritating and painful. These skin growths are usually about the size of a pencil eraser but can grow to be larger and even multiply into clusters. Because of the pressure from walking, they typically grow inward instead of outward like other warts. Sometimes they’re confused with corns or calluses, but they often have a tell-tale sign of a tiny black dot in the center.
How Do You Get HPV?
The virus is spread from person to person, typically in an indirect way. For instance, someone with a plantar wart walks across a locker room floor barefooted, then another person crosses the floor and wham! A wart develops. The moral of the story is: Don’t walk around bare foot in public places!
Treatment Takes Time
There are plenty of ways to treat warts, but all of them take patience and time. Topical medications can be found at any drugstore and slowly peel away the built-up layers of the wart. While you’re at the store, pick up a roll of duct tape. Believe it or not, many believe this home remedy works! Simply place a piece of tape over the wart and leave it there for several days. Remove the tape and soak your foot in warm water, then debride the wart with a pumice stone. You will have to repeat the process several times.
If all else fails, seek your podiatrist’s help. Doctors can freeze the wart off with liquid nitrogen, get rid of it with laser treatments, or in serious cases, surgically remove the growth.
Whatever process you choose, plan on it taking a few weeks to a few months or for it to be completely gone. It’s also important to realize that just because it’s finally gone, doesn’t mean it won’t reappear. Once you have the virus, you become more susceptible. Be sure to take precautions in order to avoid the virus from returning.
If you notice a wart on the bottom of your foot, and home remedies aren’t doing the trick, call Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen or any other member of our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. Dial (303) 805-5156 or visit us at our Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, and Parker, CO offices. We’ll help you get a better understanding of what you’re dealing with and start treatment right away.