Plantar warts, or warts on the feet, are far more prevalent than you might assume. Besides, if you do not have plantar warts currently, you may recall having a few when you were younger. These raised lesions on the bottom of the foot can be quite unsightly, uncomfortable, and painful. Thankfully, whereas it is not always possible to guarantee that you will never develop Mill Creek warts, there are measures you can adopt to avoid their development. Continue reading to learn more.
Plantar warts result from certain strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV. These HPV strains often concentrate in warm, damp environments, where they can spread via indirect contact with different surfaces.
To protect yourself, always wear at least a pair of shoes or sandals at the pool or utilize public facilities such as gyms, locker rooms, showers, and more. Not only does it help lower your chances of coming into contact with HPV, but it also lowers your likelihood of developing tiny scrapes and cuts that the virus may use to penetrate beneath your skin.
Clean your feet with disinfecting soap everyday, and right after spending time in a public facility, with an increased risk of exposure. Moreover, do not allow your feet to remain wet throughout the day.
Once your skin is wet, it can become easily damaged. In fact, the HPV virus does not require much of an opening, even very tiny, hardly noticeable weak points are enough for it to infiltrate. Thus, wearing breathable shoes and moisture-absorbing socks can help. If they get damp during the day, wear a new pair.
Clothing, nail, and skin care tools that may come into contact with warts or damaged skin should not be shared with others. Such items include nail clippers, towels, razors, and pumice stones or emery boards. Ensure you have your own to avoid sharing with others.
In most cases, warts spread via indirect contact. However, you should not ignore that they can spread via direct contact. Therefore, avoid picking or touching your warts as it can spread them to your hands, or other body parts that you touch thereafter.
Furthermore, you also increase your likelihood of spreading them to others. If you must touch your plantar warts, thoroughly wash your hands, preferably with disinfecting soap immediately.
Another easy way to reduce your likelihood of multiplying or spreading your existing warts is to cover them with a clean, non-medicated athletic tape or bandage. Once covered, it becomes hard for the warts to spread to other areas through contact with your hands, shoes, socks, and so on.
Additionally, taping your wart can offer extra cushioning to ease any pain you might be experiencing from standing on the wart. Using duct tape for your warts is often safe, but if your skin is quite fragile or thin, be careful when removing it.
Plantar warts might not be the most severe foot issue you experience. However, these warts are common, spread easily, and can cause discomfort when standing or walking. Therefore, you should take the necessary preventive measures to avoid their development. If, despite these measures, you notice warning signs of warts, be it a grainy texture or black pinpoints on the heel or base of your toes, consult a foot specialist on the best care plan.