With the increasingly warm weather recreational swimming and swim lessons become common activities in the lives of most students. Unfortunately the related community acquired infections such as plantar warts can become a real pain and nuisance. Plantar warts are caused by an infection of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Each person reacts differently to HPV and not everyone who comes into contact with it will develop warts. HPV is not highly contagious and is not easily transmitted through direct contact with healthy intact skin. Warm moist environments are ideal for the growth of HPV so walking barefoot around pools and change rooms increases the chance of contracting the virus.
People are at higher risk if the integrity of their skin is compromised allowing a point of entry for the virus. Points of entry include cuts, cracks, or water softened skin. Children, teens, people with compromised immunity, or people with a history of plantar warts are more at risk of contracting a wart caused by HPV.
Ways to prevent plantar warts:
- Avoid direct contact with warts
- Wash hands after contact with warts
- Avoid walking barefoot in moist shared areas
- Keep feet dry and clean
- Dispose of and avoid sharing pumice or emery boards used on warts
- Clean showers or shared areas with diluted bleach solution
Plantar warts can cause pain or tenderness when walking, if you suspect that your child may have a plantar wart please consult your local physician for treatment options or check your local pharmacy for an appropriate over-the-counter (OTC) remedy.