What You Can Do to Prevent Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are no fun. They’re unsightly, stubborn, and if they’re in a sensitive spot on your sole they can make standing and walking painful. Oh, and they have a bad habit of multiplying, too.
So, if you happen to develop any of these stubborn growths, your best choice is always to treat them as soon as you can. And we have a great, convenient, and effective treatment option that’s miles better and more comfortable than peeling acid or liquid nitrogen, and even provides better long-term protection against re-infection. (More on that near the bottom of this post.)
But you know what’s even better than treating foot warts? Not getting them in the first place! While it isn’t possible to guarantee with 100% certainty that you won’t ever have to deal with them (or deal with them again), the following tips can greatly improve the odds in your favor.
Don’t Walk Around Barefoot
Warts are caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, and these viruses tend to love environments that are warm and moist. They can also live for a time on infected surfaces, spread to your feet through contact with those surfaces, and get under the skin through breaks and tears—sometimes small enough that you can’t even see or feel them.
So, as a first general line of defense, make sure you’re always wearing some kind of protection between your feet and the floor, particularly if you’re at a place like a public pool, locker room, shower facilities, gym, or playground. A trusty pair of sandals can make a big difference. Water or shower shoes are even better.
Don’t Wear Sweaty Shoes and Socks
Speaking of environments that are warm and moist: the inside of your shoes can make an attractive home for wart-causing viruses—not to mention bacteria and fungi responsible for foul odor, athlete’s foot, fungal toenails, and more.
If your socks and shoes tend to get damp quickly, be sure to replace them with a clean, dry pair—even if this has to occur in the middle of the day.
Keep Your Feet Clean, Dry, and Healthy
Make sure you wash your feet thoroughly with gentle soap and water at least daily. There are many reasons you should do this, of course, and warts are one of them.
We also highly recommend you use a moisturizing cream or lotion daily, particularly if you tend to struggle with dry, flaky, or cracking skin. The virus needs breaks and weak points to get under the skin, so if you keep your feet looking healthy, hydrated, and smooth, accidental exposure to HPV is less likely to result in an infection.
Don’t Share High-Risk Clothing or Items
If you want to avoid passing warts on to a loved one—or prevent them from passing warts on to you—make sure you don’t share items such as:
- Nail clippers
- Pumice stones
- Other skin/nail care tools
- Footwear (socks, shoes, sandals)
- Unwashed towels or other linens
Basically, if it’s something that could come into contact with warts, you should not be sharing it with others.
Don’t Touch Your Warts
If you already have one or more plantar warts, avoid touching them or picking at them, as this can cause the infection to spread to other parts of your body through indirect contact.
If you must touch your warts, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly immediately thereafter.
Treat Any Existing Warts Using Swift Microwave Therapy
As promised in the intro, we’ll talk a bit more about this advanced form of wart treatment, and why it offers better long-term protection than the conventional treatment options.
When you treat warts with an old-school approach like liquid nitrogen, salicylic acid, or even surgical excision, you may get rid of the visible appearance of the wart, but not necessarily the HPV that’s still living under the skin. And if the virus remains, new warts can pop up again and again.
Swift works differently, because it actually engages your immune system. Just two or three sessions spread out over a couple of months, with just two or three seconds of actual microwave therapy per visit, is enough for most people to develop an effective immune response that identifies and eliminates the core infection at its source.
There are tons of other reasons to love Swift, too, including its safety record, lack of post-procedural pain or aftercare, and more. You can read all about it on our service page.
Keep Warts at Bay, Now and In the Future
Unfortunately, plantar warts have a bad habit of coming back if you don’t take the appropriate preventative measures. And if you had a bad experience with a previous wart treatment, you’re that much less likely to come back a second time.
This can have disastrous results, particularly if warts start to multiply and spread to areas where they cause more pain, discomfort, and/or embarrassment.
So, be vigilant! Take good care of your feet, and come to us as soon as you can with any foot warts you may develop. With Swift Microwave Therapy, and guidance from a specialist like Dr. DePalma, you’ll be well on your way to overcoming your warts—likely for good.
Call us today at (609) 714-0052, or reach out online to request an appointment with our office in Medford, NJ.