Warts – A True Life Story

It was about this time of year that I came home from college for the first time and headed straight to the doctor. I had these things on the bottom of my foot and they hurt when I waked. It turned out that I had warts on the bottom of my foot. How did I get those warts? Probably from going into the showers on my dorm floor without flip flops.

Warts are a foot infection caused by a virus. The virus enters your skin through small breaks in the skin. The virus that causes warts loves wet dark places like public showers. It can live there and infect you when you use the shower. The best way to avoid being infected is to wear shower shoes or flip flops in the shower. Yes, this is one of the few really good uses for flip flops. You also want to make sure that you dry your feet after taking a shower.

There are five types of warts. Of these five types, there are two types that typically are found on the feet.

Plantar warts(plantar means “of the bottom of the foot”) are not surprisingly found on the bottom of the foot. They look like thick patches of skin (like calluses) with little dots or holes. This kind of wart can cause discomfort when you walk. It might feel like there is a pebble in your shoe.

Periungual wartsgrow under and around the toenails. With these warts, you might see what looks like rough bumps. They will have an uneven surface and the boarders around the wart will be irregular. This type of wart can affect nail growth.

Some people are more susceptible to the virus that causes warts. (lucky me, right?)  Warts are most common among children and teenagers. The important thing about warts that you need to know is that they are infectious. You can infect yourself in other areas and infect others. It can be spread by touch or by using another’s towel, razor, shoes or other personal items. So if you sit and pick at the wart on your foot, you can spread it to other areas of your foot or perhaps your hands.

If you think you have a wart, it is time to go see your friendly local podiatrist. There are several options to remove the wart. Part of the solution will depend upon how much the infection has spread. There are strong topical solutions that can be used to kill off the wart. If using a topical solution doesn’t work, then there are options that include cutting out the wart or use lasers to remove the wart. You and your doctor can discuss the options and decide on the treatment that will be best for you.

There are over the counter solutions to remove warts. If you know that you have a wart, then you can try those solutions. They are not the strength that your doctor can provide and they may not work to remove your wart. Also, if you have a compromised immune system or you are diabetic, then you should not use the over the counter medicines for wart removal. You need to be under a doctor’s care to have the warts removed.

Oh and warts are not caused by frogs. Really. 

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