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4 Factors That Increase Your Risk of Warts

Jul 01, 2023
Warts can occur anywhere on your body, including your feet. Plantar warts are painful and may lead to severe discomfort. Read on to discover factors that increase your risk of plantar warts on your feet.

Warts are unsightly growths that may pop up anywhere on your body. They're often the result of the human papillomavirus, which you may think is only transmitted sexually.

However, there are many forms of HPV, one of which leads to plantar warts on your feet.

If you think you have a plantar wart, our Toe-Tal Foot and Ankle Care team provides treatments and prevention measures to ease discomfort and get you back on your feet.

Dr. Daniel Cairns is our experienced podiatrist who helps you understand your risk factors for foot issues, including plantar warts, and provides customized treatment plans.

The facts on warts

Warts are an infection that grows on your body from the human papillomavirus. They can happen anywhere, but plantar warts on your feet are often the most painful and uncomfortable.

Although they don't look nice and lead to bumps on your feet, plantar warts are benign, meaning they don't cause long-term health issues.

Plantar warts are widespread and very contagious. You can get one of these warts by sharing shoes with someone else with plantar warts or walking in a public area without shoes.

Do I have a wart?

Warts that form on your feet may seem obvious, but only to some. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a plantar wart can help you know what you're dealing with.

A few of the common symptoms of plantar warts include the following:

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Bleeding
  • Tenderness
  • Skin discoloration
  • Deep-rooted warts in your foot
  • Thick, rough skin

Any of these symptoms can affect your day-to-day living. Plantar warts make it challenging to stand on your affected foot and how you can walk.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, seek our help immediately to avoid long-term pain and discomfort.

Risk factors for warts

Anyone can get a plantar wart, but certain people are more at risk than others. For instance, if you have a cut on your foot and come in contact with HPV, you're at risk for developing plantar warts.

Four major risk factors for this condition include:

1. Walking barefoot

Your feet are vulnerable without the proper footwear, especially when it comes to plantar warts. You're at a higher risk for plantar warts if you walk barefoot in public pools and locker rooms.

2. Having previous warts

If you've had plantar warts before, you're at risk of developing them again. Your body has already been exposed to the virus, making it more likely to reoccur.

3. A weak immune system

Your immune system helps you fight off severe issues to your health, including infections and viruses. If your immune system weakens, you're at risk for HPV and plantar warts.

During your consultation, Dr. Cairns may advise you on more healthy habits to protect your feet.

4. Children or teens

Kids and teens are one of the highest risk groups for developing plantar warts because of their developing immune systems. This age group also walks barefoot frequently and is present in locker rooms and pools where HPV thrives.

How are warts treated?

Most plantar warts go away on their own after a year; however, if you have pain or are self-conscious about the wart, Dr. Cairns recommends treatment to alleviate your symptoms.

There are various treatments available for plantar warts, depending on where they're located and the severity of your symptoms.

Dr. Cairns often uses cryotherapy to freeze off the wart. During cryotherapy, he applies an extremely cold substance, such as liquid nitrogen that damages the wart, causing it to fall off.

The procedure is relatively painless and very successful in removing plantar warts. To prevent other warts from forming, Dr. Cairns advises you to wear shoes in public areas and avoid sharing footwear with others.

Call our Toe-Tal Foot and Ankle Care team today at 817-518-7348 to make an appointment with Dr. Cairns if you have plantar warts, or book an appointment online for an evaluation today.