Contrary to folklore, you do not get warts from touching toads. Warts are caused by a virus that enters the body through a break in the skin. It is a common organism that we are all exposed to at some point in our lives. The virus grows in warm, moist environments like change rooms and pool areas.
What Does It Look Like?
Warts often appear as a thick, tough area of skin with clearly defined borders. They may also appear bumpy and spongy. Warts do not have roots. They usually have tiny black dots in the center. These are tiny capillaries (small blood vessels) that supply blood to the wart.
A plantar wart is similar in structure to an iceburg. The part on the surface represents only a small fraction of the entire wart. Often, the portion of wart under the skin is twice as big as the part you see.
What To Do
The body’s natural immune system can often wipe out a wart without any treatment. If the wart becomes painful it should be treated.
Treatment options are varied. Initially, you may want to treat the wart using specialized “wart removing” plasters, gel or ointments which are available at drugstores. If the wart does not respond, gets larger, becomes painful, or spreads, then you should seek further attention from a Chiropodist/ Podiatrist.
Prevention and Treatment
- Check your feet each time you wash.
- Report anything unusual to your doctor or Chiropodist.
- If it is a verruca, remember that it is infectious.
- DO keep it covered, even when washing.
- DO use your own towel and bathmat.
- DO cover existing warts with a waterproof bandage before going into a pool to prevent spreading the virus.
- DO NOT use showers in sports centres or schools, etc..
- DO NOT share shoes.
- DO NOT pick or scratch a wart – this is how they spread.
- Treatment should be prompt to prevent further spread.
- Treatment can vary…follow the advise of your Chiropodist/ Podiatrist.
- Check that no other member of the family is infected.
- Don’t worry if it takes time to clear up.
- Remember use Dettol or Javex to disinfect socks and shoes.