Summer is here in Pennsylvania, and it’s time to get back outdoors and enjoy all the fun activities we missed over the frigid winter season. From walking on the beach, exploring the mountains, and hitting the pool, it’s time to trade those boots and shoes in for some sandals and flip-flops. In today’s post, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center share information regarding one condition that is sure to put a crimp in your good times.
When activity levels increase, and the shoes come off, the risk for plantar warts rises. With more chances to go barefoot, we’re at risk for scrapes, cuts, and painful lesions on our feet that create the perfect breeding ground for these warts.
Warts are skin lesions that develop on the sole. The virus that causes them is the human papillomavirus (HPV) which can transmit between objects and people. Plantar warts are quite painful, especially when they grow on pressure points on the soles of feet.
Adolescents, children, and anyone with immune deficiencies are predisposed to contracting these warts.
HPV can live on surfaces for weeks, months, and even years. To contract it, you would have to come in contact with viral particles on shoes, towels, socks, shower floors, public pools, etc. The virus enters the skin through small abrasions or cuts on the soles of your feet and infects the outer skin cells. If your body doesn’t repel the cells, you’ll soon feel and see the lesions forming.
If you want to have fun in the sun all summer long without the risk of plantar warts, here are a few precautions you can take:
- Don’t walk barefoot in public areas.
- Always wear footwear in and around communal showers, locker rooms, and pools, including public restrooms at the lake or beach.
- Never share shoes, towels, or other personal items.
- Avoid getting scrapes and cuts on the bottoms of your feet.
- Keep your feet as dry and clean as possible.
- If you have children, examine their feet regularly.
- Don’t make direct contact with warts on yourself or others.
Whether you’re hoping to avoid contracting warts for the first time or trying to prevent new ones from developing, these tips should help you keep your feet healthy and happy.
If you have any questions regarding foot health or experiencing any issues, contact the greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center offices for diagnosis and treatment. Click here to locate the office nearest you and schedule an appointment today.