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Wart

What is a wart?

A wart is a skin infection that is caused by a virus in the layers of your skin that can spread to other parts of the body. It is easily missed for many reasons. First, it takes a while for the wart to be noticeable; a wart can take a month before growing to a detectable size. Second, they are easily missed because warts have relatively the same color as your skin. Third, warts are generally not painful if not located on areas of your feet that are pressed on the ground.

It is good to know that despite common belief, warts (especially ones on the foot) do not go away on their own. This is because the foot has an extra layer of skin, which gives room for the wart to cozily nest in your skin and spread around, instead of falling off.

What causes warts?

Warts occur because of microscopic openings in our skin that are exposed to the virus while walking barefoot. It is easy to catch a wart if you have been walking barefoot in public places such as pools, changing rooms, public showers, hotel rooms, and shoe stores.

In the case that you have sweaty feet, this makes the wart worse; it spreads easily in a moist environment.

How to treat warts?

Consider that the bigger the wart, and the longer the wart has been in your skin, the longer your treatment will be.

1. Prescribing at-home medication

In case of small warts, or to end a treatment, your podiatrist can prescribe medication to apply daily on your wart. It is good to know that these treatments are stronger than what you would be able to buy yourself at the pharmacy. Despite being stronger, however, they are not strong enough to quickly get rid of the wart.

Your podiatrist can also prescribe medication to treat excessive sweating so your current wart does not get bigger, as well as to prevent another wart infection.

2. In-office wart treatment

Your podiatrist has different chemical medications to apply in-office on your skin. These medications are much stronger than medications you can apply at home and they get rid of the wart faster.

How to treat warts at home?

At-home wart treatments do not work well on foot warts, as the skin on your foot is much thicker than the rest of your body. Nevertheless, here are a couple of things you can do to prevent your wart from getting bigger while waiting for your podiatric consultation.

Do not walk barefoot

The worst thing you can do while battling a wart is to get another one or to give it to someone else. Refrain from walking barefoot in public spaces. Also, cover your wart with a bandaid while taking your shower at home, so as not to give it to someone else or to further contaminate yourself.

Avoid multiple treatments

We understand you may want to try an over-the-counter medication before seeking the help of a professional. There’s no harm in trying, but please do not keep trying different treatments, as the wart becomes more resistant every time, ultimately becoming more difficult to treat by your podiatrist later on.

Do not use a pumice stone

We understand that warts can get bigger and thicker. This thickening makes it quite painful to walk on. But if you attempt to use a pumice stone to shave off your wart, you will be spreading the virus all over your foot.

Clean your socks and footwear

In order to not contaminate yourself or your loved ones, it is wise to wash your socks inside out in the washing machine using hot water. Also, spray any footwear you use barefoot with an antibacterial spray such as Lysol.

Reduce your sweaty feet

Excessive sweating makes it easier for your wart to grow, as it is always in a humid environment. Change your socks often (minimum twice a day) and ask your podiatrist to prescribe an anti-sweating medication.

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