Questions and Answers About Warts

Warts may not be the most comfortable thing to get on your skin, but they’ve got a bad rap they don’t deserve. Here’s some information that may ease your mind if you encounter one of these essentially harmless growths on your feet.

Q: Did I get a wart because my feet are dirty?

A: No, but you may have gotten it because you walked barefoot in a dirty place. Warts are caused by a virus that adores a warm, moist environment – so it’s easy to pick it up in public places such as locker rooms and pool decks.

Q: What does a wart look like?

A wart is a hard patch of skin that can be mistaken for a callus. Warts that grow on or around the toes are noticeably raised up on the skin. Plantar warts located on the sole of the foot can be flat against the skin.

Q: Can a wart make you sick?

Warts are caused by a virus, but it’s not the kind that makes you feel sick. In fact, warts generally don’t cause any pain at all, and having the virus won’t cause any additional illness in your body. Warts can, however, grow into a cluster, spread to other parts of the feet, or spread to other parts of the body.

Q: Are warts contagious?

Quite! They can spread easily to other people through infected towels or other surfaces around the house.

Q: How do you prevent warts?
A: Keep your feet dry. Wear clean, moisture-absorbing socks. Protect cuts and scrapes with bandages to prevent the virus from getting in. And keep your bare feet away from wet surfaces in public places – always wear some sort of shoe or sandal in public pools and gyms.

Q: Should I treat a wart myself or go to the doctor?

Sometimes a wart will go away on its own. But for those that stick around, it’s possible to treat them at home with over-the-counter wart removal liquids and gels. Warts, however, can be pretty resistant – plus it can be difficult to eliminate a wart without also eliminating some of the healthy skin surrounding it. For safe, expert removal of a stubborn foot wart, you’d be wise to make an appointment with Megan L. Oltmann, DPM or Craig B. Frey, DPM at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland. These podiatrists can examine your feet and recommend the best wart removal treatment, which may include prescription medications, surgery, or cauterization. Our number in Solon, Ohio is (440) 903-1041.