Warts on feet, also known as plantar warts, are a lot more common than you might think. By some estimates, as many as 1 in 10 Americans have them. And even if you don’t have any plantar warts right now, you might remember developing a few back in your younger days.
Consequently, it’s not at all surprising that we treat foot warts quite frequently at our office in Twin Falls. It’s a service we’re very happy to provide, of course, but we know it would make our patients even happier if they didn’t have to deal with warts in the first place!
The good news is, while it isn’t always possible to 100% guarantee you would never develop new warts, there are some simple preventative steps you can take to significantly reduce your risk of either contracting plantar warts or multiplying your existing warts.
Tips to Prevent Plantar Warts
Don’t Go Around Barefoot
Plantar warts are caused by certain strains of human papillomavirus, or HPV. These HPV strains tend to congregate in spaces that are warm and moist, where they can spread through indirect contact with various surfaces.
To protect yourself, always wear (at the very least) a pair of sandals or water shoes when you’re out at the pool, or using public facilities like locker rooms, showers, gyms, etc. Not only does this help you reduce the risk of contact with HPV, but it also reduces the risk that you’ll develop tiny cuts and scrapes that the virus can use to get under the skin.
Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry
Wash your feet using a disinfecting soap at least once per day, as well as immediately after spending time in a public area with a greater risk of exposure.
Don’t let your feet stay wet as you go about your day. When skin is wet, it can be damaged much more easily. Unfortunately, the viruses that cause plantar warts don’t need much of an opening—even very small, barely perceptible weak points can often do the trick.
Wearing moisture-wicking socks and breathable shoes can help. If they become damp during the course of the day, switch to new pairs.