You might have been told as a child that you shouldn’t touch warts because they can spread, and there’s some truth to it. As an adult, if you’ve developed plantar warts on your feet, you’re probably worried about them affecting other parts of your body — or someone else.
While the potential for plantar warts to spread exists, the threat is easily remedied with prompt treatment at our practice. In this month’s blog post, our team of podiatry experts here at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, with 10 locations throughout Tennessee, is focusing on plantar warts and how to keep them from spreading.
Plantar warts at a glance
Plantar warts are so named because of their location on the bottom side of your feet (the plantar side). Like other warts, plantar warts stem from a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Despite its seemingly menacing name, the HPV virus is incredibly common, and there are more than 100 types.
In most cases, HPV infections that lead to warts aren’t cause for alarm, but they can be problematic, especially when they develop in areas that pose problems in terms of comfort. And this can certainly be true of your feet. When these warts form on the soles of your feet, they can make walking uncomfortable and painful.
Can plantar warts spread?
Plantar warts are caused by a virus that can be contagious. In fact, you developed the warts because you came into contact with a certain strain of the HPV virus.
That said, there are some points to consider. The HPV virus that led to your plantar warts prefers a certain type of skin and will mostly stick to that area. That means that your plantar warts will likely stay confined to your feet.
But if you pick at the warts with your fingers, the virus may transfer to your hands and other parts of your body. If your immunity to the HPV virus isn’t strong, there is potential for the warts to spread. That is why we suggest that anytime you touch the warts, you wash your hands immediately after.
The same holds true for passing along the virus to others. We suggest that you avoid sharing towels or socks with others and always wear shoes in public spaces.
Treating your plantar warts
The best way to prevent plantar warts from spreading is to seek prompt care. We offer several treatments to eliminate these uncomfortable growths, including:
- Injections that target the virus
- Liquid nitrogen to freeze the warts
- Prescription-strength topical salicylic acid and cantharone medications
- Pulsed-dye laser treatments to shut off the blood supply to your warts
- Minor surgery to excise the warts
Eliminating your plantar warts can go a long way toward preventing them from spreading and will also make walking more comfortable.
If you want to eliminate your plantar warts please contact one of our offices in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, Columbia, Pulaski, or Lebanon to schedule an appointment.