Are Plantar Warts Contagious?
A healthy, active life starts with healthy feet.
The average person will walk around 100,000 miles in their lifetime – that would take you around the world three times. And yet we so often overlook foot care.
Plantar warts are unsightly, embarrassing, uncomfortable and a common foot affliction. They’re unwelcome and uninvited guests.
But the good news is there’s a swift, effective treatment to send them packing.
What are Plantar Warts and Why Do We Get Them?
Plantar warts are small growths, usually appearing on the feet around the heel or ball of the foot – the weight-bearing areas of our feet. This can cause pain when we walk.
They’re caused by HPV, a very common virus. HPV sneaks in through tiny cuts or vulnerable areas in your skin. Often the cracks are so small you can’t see or feel them. The virus then causes a build-up of the protein keratin, which can result in warts.
The HPV virus doesn’t always trigger our immune response because the virus attacks the epidermis – the outer layer of your skin while your immune system is busy protecting deeper layers of skin. So sometimes the virus slips under the immune system’s radar undetected and causes plantar warts.
Plantar warts prefer warm, moist environments, and they’re most common in children and adolescents. But anyone of any age can be susceptible to a plantar wart, and around 14% of people of all ages will develop one.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain when walking or standing – this puts pressure on the wart. Some say it’s like having a stone in their shoe.
- “Wart seeds”, little black dots which form as the wart forms. These are actually clotted blood vessels.
- Rough, grainy lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually near the toes or the heel.
- Calluses in one particular area, are caused by the wart growing inward.