With the beautiful summer weather comes more time by the pool. And with more time by the pool comes more foot ailments – particularly plantar warts.
This is because plantar warts are caused by a virus. They are fairly common, occurring on the sole of the foot. They are more prone to develop in areas on the sole where there is more pressure and friction.
The wart develops on the superficial, outermost area of the skin and appears as a thickened growth – almost like a callus. While normally not painful, if the wart is located on an area that is subjected to pressure it can become quite tender.
It is important to know that because warts are caused by a virus, they are contagious. In summer, it is common to see a number of patients with plantar warts picked up from walking barefoot at the pool or using the pool showers without wearing flip flops or water shoes. While plantar warts can be seen in all age groups, they are most common among children 12-16. We also see an upswing of plantar warts in the fall when college students head back to the dorms.
Since warts are common among children, it is important to make sure your children understand the importance of wearing footwear whenever possible, even when walking around the pool and especially in the shower/locker room area. Also, you should make a point to ask your child about their feet periodically or check their feet yourself for any evidence of warts or other foot conditions. Sometimes they may be embarrassed to tell you about a problem, think it is normal, or not even notice that there is a problem. However, if they are walking barefoot in your home, they could be spreading the virus on your floors and putting other members of your family at risk for warts.
And finally – please do not try any do-it-yourself fixes to rid yourself of the warts. At Community Foot Specialists, we’ve seen patients who have tried cutting the wart from your foot or the duct tape remedy you read about various places on the internet. Resorting to such methods may lead to infection. We have a few different methods available to treat the affected area. Contact our office for details.