You may find yourself asking this question if you are under treatment for a wart. A wart is a skin lesion or spot on the foot that may appear as a callous with brown/black speckles. When warts present on the feet, they are normally found on the bottom surface, which they are then known as plantar’s warts. These can be flat or raised. These are usually painful with walking or squeezing, but not always. Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV. Therefore, these can usually be contracted in community locker rooms, pools, or anywhere someone can potentially walk barefoot in public areas. Because a virus causes warts, these are spread from person to person. This also means that if a family member has a wart, you may easily get a plantar’s wart as well.

Once the wart or virus makes its home in your skin, it does not want to live by itself so it creates many friends, which make even more friends of their own! In addition to this, the wart or warts can live off of your own blood supply. The wart literally “has it made!” Since the wart is having a great field day getting nutrients and oxygen by living off your blood supply, it finds ways to hide itself from your own immune system. Can this get any worse!?

When your podiatrist starts treatment for a wart, he or she has to perform a very fine balancing act. Basically, a very unfriendly environment needs to be made so that this wart will want to leave. Problem is…this unfriendly environment is being made on your own skin. This is why it can take multiple treatments to get rid of a wart. It’s basically because the goal is to kill the wart without creating excess blistering or pain to the skin.

Get the most out of your treatment! In order to keep sane and maximize your benefit of treatment, the key is to remain calm and patient. It may take several treatments to clear this up and EVEN MORE if the wart has been present for several months or a year. Your podiatrist may even give you instructions for treatments to perform at home in between office visits ie, creams, mild acids etc. Remain consistent and perform any at home treatments your doctor has prescribed. Don’t discontinue treatment prematurely. You may think that your wart is gone but still attend all office visits and continue treatments until your doctor advises discontinuation of treatment or a maintenance plan. Furthermore, avoid walking barefoot in public places. Avoid recontamination by alternating shoes daily (try to wear a different pair every day), use shoe disinfectant sprays, or throw out significantly worn or very old shoes.

Most importantly, contact your podiatrist’s office if there is any suspicion of a wart. The sooner this is found and treated, the sooner it will go away.

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