Warding off Warts

Plantar warts can be painful and embarrassing; don’t let them go untreated.

The most common breeding grounds for verruca plantaris, or plantar warts, are communal showers, floors in public swimming pools and even your shower at home. Breakouts can also occur among people who share gym or athletic facilities or in settings where bare feet are the rule.

“Warts can occur on any compromised skin surface, but they are most common on the bottoms of the feet and hands,” explains Robert P. Dunne, DPM, FACFAS, a board-certified podiatric surgeon at Lake Washington Foot & Ankle, which has offices in Melbourne and Palm Bay.

“They tend to invade the skin through small abrasions or cuts – ones that you may not even realize you have,” the doctor adds. “The plantar wart can be quite painful since you would be putting pressure on the area by simply standing. Paring them down can sometimes relieve some of the pressure, but a more aggressive treatment may be required.”

Lake Washington Foot & Ankle is a comprehensive podiatric medicine clinic where Dr. Dunne treats a wide variety of podiatric complaints, including tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), dermatitis; heel, foot and ankle pain; tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, bunions and other bone issues.

“We treat everything from ingrown toenails to neuromas,” Dr. Dunne explains. “We also do clinical trials for onychomycosis [fungal toenails] in an effort to find better and more effective treatment for this aliment.

“As for treating plantar warts, there are several treatment options, not all of which are invasive. Treatment can be oral, such as Tagamet®; topical, such as salicylic acid or retinoid cream; slightly invasive, such as cryotherapy; or invasive, such as an excision of the wart.

“And while there are several over-the-counter and home remedies that people can try, we strongly caution those who are susceptible to infection or persons with diabetes not to try these without consulting their doctor.”

Plantar Wart Risk Factors

There are many risk factors for plantar warts, especially in our Florida environment.

“Age can be a factor in the development of a wart,” the doctor notes. “Children are more susceptible because they have not built immunity to the virus. Also, people with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to the virus.”

Dr. Dunne further warns that warts are contagious, so anyone affected should take precautions to avoid spreading the virus. Prevention measures include: not touching other people’s warts; not sharing towels, shoes or socks; wearing flip-flops in the shower (both at home and in a community-shower setting), covering the wart to prevent exposure; and not scratching or picking at the wart, as this can easily cause it to spread.

“Our patients come first, and we recommend they take action now if they have a problem.”

Article submitted by Lake Washington Foot & Ankle.
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    • Lake Washington Foot & Ankle

      Dr. Dunne welcomes the opportunity to answer your questions about foot health. For further information or to schedule an appointment, please call (321) 253-6191. His office is located at 2717 N. Wickham Rd., #4, in Melbourne.... Read More

    • Robert P. Dunne, DPM, FACFAS

      Robert P. Dunne, DPM, FACFAS, is a board-certified podiatric surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons. After receiving his degree from Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, he completed a p... Read More

    • Ryan Cantwell, DPM

      Ryan Cantwell, DPM, is a podiatric surgeon who earned his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of South Florida in 2012 and his medical degree from the California School of Podiatric Medicine in Oakland, CA in 2016. He c... Read More