Continuing on from my last post, I am discussing prevention of foot problems that we commonly see an increase of during the summer months. Once again, there are several common foot conditions we see year round that become somewhat more prevalent during the summer months, for various reasons. These reasons depend on the condition, and can include barefoot activity, increased activity, and specific risks of increased temperature and ultraviolet exposure.
Next up is warts. Warts are hard, callus-like lesions found on the feet and hands. They are due to an infection from a virus, which enters the skin through small cracks, fissures, or other skin defect. In the feet, the virus is often stepped on, which leads to most foot warts being found on the bottom of the foot. They are transmitted from person to person through skin cells that are shed from the infected wart. The skin tissue containing the virus is then left on the ground, and another individual contracts the virus by stepping on the skin cells. If there is a defect in that person’s skin where the virus is stepped on, the virus will enter the second person and begin the infection. Of course, the most common locations warts are spread are going to be where people walk barefoot. These places include pools, locker rooms, changing rooms, community or shared bathrooms, and even piers and boardwalks.
While warts can be treated, they can potentially be nonetheless a tough infection to remove. Prevention is the key to limiting their contagious spread. By wearing sandals, shower shoes, or generally avoiding walking barefoot in public spaces, one can reduce their risk of contracting this infection. This is certainly easy to do in locker rooms or changing rooms and showers. At pools, this is not always feasible or desirable, but if one can protect their feet when on the pool deck well away from the water, then the chances of contracting a wart is lessened as the chlorine in the pool water will likely eradicate any virus where the pool water is present. If a family member has a wart, the rest of the family should either avoid using the same bathroom or use shower sandals to protect their feet until the wart is eradicated. To be fair, passing along a wart virus is not even close to being as easy as passing along a cold virus, as one typically has to be in the right place at the wrong time become infected. However, family members are at risk, and should act accordingly.
If one does become infected, prompt and early treatment may spell better success than delaying treatment for months or years.