Barrie Foot Clinic
Get The Foot Facts
Contrary to the old folk tale you can’t get warts from touching a toad. Warts are caused by a virus that enters the body through a break in the skin. It is a common organism that everyone is exposed to throughout life. The virus grows in warm, moist environments, like change rooms and pool areas. Warts occur more often in children than adults. Some people are more susceptible to the virus than others. When they develop on the bottom of the foot they are known as plantar warts. They are not highly contagious, but being exposed in just the right condition will result in a wart.
What does it look like?
The virus invades the outermost layer of the skin causing the skin cells to reproduce at a faster rate than normal. Warts often appear as a thick, tough area of skin with clearly defined borders. They may also appear bumpy and spongy. Warts do not have roots. They may appear to have tiny black dots in the center. These are tiny capillaries (small blood vessels) that supply blood to the wart.
A plantar wart is similar in structure to an iceberg. The part on the surface represents only a small fraction of the entire wart. Often, the portion of wart under the skin is twice as big as the part you can see.
What to do
The body’s natural immune system can often wipe out the wart without any treatment. Covering it with a plaster and monitoring it for any change in size or in numbers is usually the first step. It the wart becomes painful it should be treated.
Treatment options are varied. Initially, you may want to try treating the wart using a gel, ointment or specialized “wart remover” plasters available in the drugstores. The instructions are easy to follow and can be done at home. if the wart does not respond to this type of treatment, gets larger, becomes painful, or spreads, then you should seek further attention through a Chiropodist or your Family Doctor.
- Wear flip flops or shoes in communal change rooms.
- Do not share shoes
- Do not pick or scratch a wart, this is how they spread.
- Cover all existing warts with a waterproof bandage before going into a pool to prevent further spreading of the warts.
- Check your children’s feet every month or so, especially if they are involved in swimming lessons. Warts are much easier to treat if they are caught early.