What You Should Know About Plantar Warts:
Warts – or “verrucae vulgares” – are important skin problems now known to be due to a viral infection in the skin. 🦠
This viral origin means that warts are contagious: they can spread within families and through shared spaces like locker rooms. Certain strains of warts are what are called oncogenic, meaning that they can later develop into types of squamous cell skin cancer.
Hygiene is key in cutting down your risk of contracting warts: frequent washing, avoiding sharing socks or shoes, wearing protective clogs when in the gym.
OUTBREAK Warts are contagious, meaning that they can spread on a person’s own body –or they can spread to other family members or close contacts. I personally have had many patients over the years who spread warts through shaving their legs: 1 wart becomes 20! So I would argue that it’s important to get warts treated.
We now have 3 vaccines to cut down on development of warts from certain strains of wart virus known to lead to risk of cancer of the cervix, anal area, vulva, and oropharynx: Gardasil®, Gardasil9®, and Cervarix®. These vaccines are most effective if administered to both boys and girls before exposure to wart virus, by ages 11 to 13, through they’re approved up to age 26.
Dermatologists have generally effective therapy in helping patients to deal with warts. The most common therapy for warts is cryotherapy: the warts are frozen with liquid nitrogen, promoting blistering of the skin.
Sometimes Dermatologists also cut out or excise wart tissue, to get it checked for skin cancer by the lab.
Sometimes we prescribe salicylic acid-containing lotions or gels to promote removal of the wart-infected tissue, or prescriptions like Imiquimod or Tretinoin Cream.
One last thing...
If you have developed a possible wart, now’s a great time to set up an appointment with a Board-certified Dermatologist. A baseline skin cancer check helps Dermatologists identify cancerous growths like melanoma, too. Rheumatology and Dermatology, in Cordova TN (www.Rheumderm.com; 1-901-753-0168)