Viruses That Infect Your Feet

35378761 Callus Or Plantar Wart Under Foot, Rear View

Coronavirus is in the news – a lot. You can’t turn on the radio or television for even a few minutes without hearing something about it. Viruses are constantly changing, a fact reinforced by the global spread of Covid-19, a novel strain of coronavirus. Viruses are responsible for many diseases, including the ones we often see like the common cold, influenza, and chickenpox, and some that are less common and more serious such as AIDS and Ebola.

There are two main viruses that cause some common problems with your feet:

  • Human papillomavirus, or HPV, has over 100 strains, several of which can cause plantar warts. HPV enters the body through small breaks in the skin, such as a cut on the bottom of your foot, resulting in hard bumps that form on the soles and toes of the feet. Plantar warts are sometimes dotted in black and may form singly or in clumps. They spread easily from one place on your foot to another, and getting rid of them can be difficult.


  • Coxsackievirus is responsible for hand, foot, and mouth disease, or HFM. It is a pretty common disease that affects mainly young children. HFM is more common in the spring and fall. It causes fever, mouth sores, and a rash on the hands and bottoms of the feet.

Protect your feet

To prevent plantar warts, avoid HPV by wearing flip-flops in public pools and locker rooms, don’t share towels with others, and always keep your feet clean and dry. The coxsackievirus spreads the same way other viruses do – through direct contact with an infected person, droplets from that person’s coughing and sneezing, or touching an infected surface. Wash your hands often, and stay away from sick people.


Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland welcome patients from Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties. We provide expert treatment of persistent skin rashes, bumps, lumps, lesions, bacterial infections, and viral infections of the feet and ankles. Make an appointment online or call our office in Solon, Ohio, at (440) 903-1041. And remember, the longstanding advice of medical experts applies today more than ever: wash your hands to prevent the spread of viruses and the many infections they cause.