Foot Health: Listen to your mother, especially about feet, to avoid catching plantar warts

September 26, 2013

By Dr. Nicole G. Freels

You have heard it before and you will probably hear it again: “Mothers always know best.” These words of wisdom are correct more often than not.
 
Of course, children take many years to finally understand why mom said to put more sunscreen on at the beach or brush your teeth twice a day. But some may catch onto this life truth sooner rather than later if they to heed mom’s advice about putting on their shoes before going outside because without shoes, they are at greater risk of contracting plantar warts.
 
What are plantar warts? Why should mothers worldwide continue to nag their children to always wear shoes?
 
Plantar warts are warts that typically grow in clusters and are flat. This type of wart is significantly more common in children and teens than in adults.
 
These types of warts can be recognized by multiple black dots visible on the surface. Plantar warts are not a severe health concern, but they can become painful because of their location on the bottom of the foot. Also, it is common for them to spread to other parts of the body.
 
One of the easiest ways to contract plantar warts is from being barefoot on unsanitary surfaces. We hate to say she told you so … but, she totally did! One of the easiest ways to avoid these painful and stubborn suckers is to put on your shoes before you step out onto unsanitary surfaces or terrain. Treatments for plantar warts are available over the counter at your local pharmacy. However, we don’t recommend them because they can often be costly and very ineffective and damage perfectly good skin cells.
 
Typically, a podiatrist will scrape the area of the foot with the plantar warts and prescribe oral or topical medications. If there are multiple areas, it may take several visits to completely clear the feet of the warts.
 
So, moms, your intuition is right. Make them wear their shoes and save yourself an office visit.

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