Houston podiatrist discusses what are plantar warts and how you get themHello, and welcome to the first in a series of videos, all about plantar warts. Plantar warts are common lesions found on the bottom of your foot and on your toes. You may just have one and there may be many. Sometimes they're painful and sometimes they're not. But even if they're not painful, they can spread to other parts of your foot or to other people. In today's video, I will discuss what plantar warts are and how you get plantar warts. Welcome, I'm Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider

A plantar wart is called a plantar wart because plantar means the bottom surface of your foot. The virus typically enters the foot through a small crack or break in the skin. And plantar warts are somewhat contagious. They're often picked up in locker rooms and pool decks and other public places where you're barefoot. Warts can also spread in your bathroom floors and showers or bathtubs. So after you use them, if you have a wart, make sure you disinfect the surfaces really well. You don't want to spread the wealth to the rest of your family. Like many viruses, like a cold, you don't necessarily treat the virus, you treat the symptoms. For instance, in a cold, you treat coughing and sneezing. With this virus, you treat the wart. Now the wart is a symptom and a manifestation of the virus, but it also contains some virus tissue within it itself. 

Technically a plantar wart is considered self-limiting. That means if you do nothing, it should go away on its own. The problem is, how long will it take for that wart to go away? And in the process, how many people will you infect, while waiting for it to go away? How much will your plantar warts spread and multiply instead of going away? This is why a plantar wart should always be treated. Now, there are some people who have more risk factors than others. Plantar warts can affect people of all ages, but I most commonly see them in children and teenagers, and that's because of the hydration of their foot. This virus really likes a nice hydrated area of skin and kids typically have that for them. Plantar warts are also common with people with an a weakened immune system, people who have a history of plantar warts, and also people who do a lot of walking barefoot in public. 

You can do your best to prevent developing plantar warts by avoiding direct contact with warts. Even if you touch your own wart, make sure you wash your hands really well afterwards, and that will help to prevent you from transmitting the virus. Make sure you keep your feet clean and dry, change shoes and socks daily, avoid being barefoot in public places like a locker room. Make sure you wear shower shoes. And if you do have a plantar wart, do not pick at it that will break down and expose the virus and allow it to infect other areas of your foot.

In next week's video, we'll discuss how to tell the difference between a corn, a callus, and a plantar wart. If this video provided any value to you, please like comment, subscribe, and share in social media to help others find the information that they need about their plantar warts. If you identified with anything we discussed today, feel free to contact us at the office for an immediate appointment. Thanks so much for watching and have a great day. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.