Myth vs. Reality – Wart Treatment & Prevention

by | Oct 10, 2017

This might seem a little early in the year, but believe it or not, stores have been stocking up on Halloween merchandise for well over two months now!

Of course, this upcoming holiday is usually quite full of the unbelievable. From movies about zombies to legends about headless horsemen to the costumes some adults actually choose to wear – there are many facets of Halloween that are simply beyond belief.

Now, there are also myths in everyday life that should make you pause and question them as well, including those about warts.

If you are seeking advice on how to prevent or treat a plantar wart, you really need to separate the fact from the fiction. In spite of their commonality—most people will grow at least one wart at some point during their lives—warts tend to be rather misunderstood. Not helping are myths like the following:

  • Warts come from frogs. Let’s take those amphibians right off the hook – you will not contract a wart from touching a frog with your bare hands. The bumpy growths actually come from the human papillomavirus (HPV), not toads or frogs. As you look to avoid growing a wart, this is simply not a concern (even if people think it is).
  • Warts have seeds or roots. This particular myth stems from the fact that you can often see black dots through the translucent growth. Those aren’t seeds or roots, however. What you are observing are simply the ends of tiny blood vessels that have grown in that direction. (HPV is actually microscopic and cannot be seen by the human eye.)
  • Warts are not contagious. In fact, warts are contagious and can be spread from person to person through direct contact. All it takes is a small cut or abrasion and the virus can enter the skin and cause a viral growth.
  • It is impossible to reduce the risk of warts. This is simply not true. Whereas prevention methods do not completely eliminate the risk, you can reduce the odds by boosting your immune system and not making direct contact with someone else’s wart.
  • Over-the-counter wart removal kits are safe and effective. With most store-bought kits, there is either too much salicylic acid (the most common active ingredient used to “burn” off warts) or too little. Excessive acid can damage healthy tissue around the wart; whereas insufficient acid won’t appropriately eliminate the problem wart.
  • Warts are harmful/harmless. Either way, this myth isn’t particularly true. Sure, warts are benign (noncancerous), but they can cause pain and discomfort – and especially plantar warts that grow on the bottoms of feet. Further, warts actually can lead to major problems if diabetes is also in the picture.

You might not be aware of this, but most warts will actually disappear on their own after a period of time. That being said, “a period of time” can be as long as a couple of years. Instead of trying to wait it out or waste time and money on an off-the-shelf kit, have your plantar wart removed here at Wisconsin Foot Center.

We provide professional treatment for all manners of foot and ankle problems – including plantar warts. Call (414) 425-8400 or contact our Hales Corners office through the online form found right here on our website.

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