The Truth About Warts

Frequently patients will come to us at Superior Foot & Ankle Center to treat warts. What we find interesting is the amount of misinformation and misconceptions out there about this common condition. Below are some myths about warts:

MYTH: Warts only occur in people with poor hygiene.

FACT: Warts are caused by a virus that penetrates your skin and then forms the telltale fleshy bump. They do not result from lack of cleanliness in the patient but rather that the patient walked on a surface where the virus was present. Viruses thrive in moist, warm environments such as showers at the gym or the community pool. For this reason, it is recommended that patients wear flip flops or rubber shower shoes when walking around in these types of public places.

MYTH: You can’t catch a wart from another person.

FACT: Warts are actually quite contagious. They can spread from person to person and also to other parts of your own body. All you have to do is scratch a wart and then touch another place on your body and the virus spreads. If someone in your family has a wart on their foot you should take extra care cleaning the shower and never share towels, shoes, socks, nail clippers, emery boards or any other items that touch another person’s foot.

MYTH: You can get rid of warts with wart removers you find at the drug store.

FACT: While over-the-counter products do exist for removing warts they can damage surrounding healthy tissue and may be unsuccessful in eliminating warts. Warts can be very stubborn to remove and can sometimes recur after they appear to be completely gone. It’s best to let one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas care for your wart. The foot doctor will be able to identify the type of wart and prescribe the proper treatment to safely remove it.

MYTH: Warts don’t really do any harm so you don’t have to remove them if you don’t want to.

FACT: While it’s true that warts are not generally dangerous or harmful, they can cause pain and discomfort, particularly if they develop on the heel or ball of your foot. Since they are also contagious, it’s best to get them removed as soon as possible. Left untreated warts can also grow in size and multiply on your foot.

If you have a wart, contact our Long Beach office for an appointment by calling: 562-420-9800.