As far as skin conditions go, warts aren’t too bad. They usually heal on their own and don’t come with any lasting complications. That said, they can be painful — especially plantar warts on the bottom of your feet — and they’re easy to spread. As a result, you should know how to defend yourself and your family against them.
We’ve got tips to help. As wart specialists, Christopher Vittori, DPM, and Ameet Thakrar, DPM, understand these growths and how to prevent them. Plus, if you or your child do get a wart, our team can help you get rid of it right here at our Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist offices in Homer Glen and New Lenox, Illinois.
That said, you probably want to avoid warts in the first place. So let’s look at four best practices to help you do just that.
#1: Don’t touch or pick at warts
Warts are contagious — and that includes your own warts. If you notice one on your body, avoid touching it. In particular, don’t pick at it, scratch it, or try to dig it out.
Instead, the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) recommends covering the wart with a bandage and washing your hands immediately after.
The same goes for your children. If you notice a wart on them, cover it with a bandage, wash your hands, and have them wash theirs.
Then, make an appointment with our team so we can treat the wart to prevent its spread.
#2: Wear shoes in damp spaces
The human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes warts thrives in damp spaces. That means the virus will die on, say, dry, clean ground, but it can survive anywhere with ample moisture.
If you frequent a pool or a locker room where the ground is usually damp, keep your feet shod. Even a simple pair of cheap sandals can be enough to prevent you from getting an HPV infection.
Similarly, if your kids are college-aged and sharing a dorm, make sure they have shower shoes.
#3: Don’t share specific items
Because HPV can live with even a small amount of moisture, it’s important that you don’t share any items that can retain water or sweat. Those include:
Even in your own family, it’s important that no one shares these items unless they’ve gone through a proper laundry cycle between uses.
#4: Keep your feet clean and dry
Are you sensing a theme? When it comes to preventing warts, moisture is your enemy. To keep your feet wart-free, work to keep them clean and dry. That might mean avoiding certain shoes in the summer or bringing a pair of socks with you to change into clean ones partway through the day.
If you have any questions about wart prevention or have one that needs to be treated, call Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist or schedule an appointment online today.