05th February 2024
Are Plantar Warts Contagious?Dr. Jill Barat, PharmD
Plantar warts are warts that are distinctly found on the bottom of the foot.
Plantar warts are different than warts commonly found on fingers or hands, and plantar warts generally do not spread to skin other than skin similar to the skin on the bottom of your feet.
Aside from a slight discomfort or irritation, there is no long-term danger from having a plantar wart other than them being a minor annoyance.
But, if you do have a plantar wart, it is recommended to look into medications or procedures to have them removed.
These warts often appear as round, callused, rough, or grainy lesions on the bottom of the foot, with or without small black spots, commonly on the weight-bearing areas like the heel or the ball of your foot.
These warts may be painless, or they might hurt when you walk due to the wart pushing on sensitive parts of your foot.
But, how contagious are plantar warts, can you spread them on yourself, and how to avoid spreading them to others?
How long are plantar warts contagious for?
Plantar warts are potentially contagious for the entire amount of time that they exist.
Once treatment is started on plantar wart removal, there may be a thick calloused area covering the plantar wart spot, but there may still be a risk of transferring the microscopic virus.
Take steps to avoid contact with the area, as well as avoiding feet-to-surface contact to not leave the virus on floors and in public areas.
How to avoid spreading plantar warts on your feet
The more the plantar wart is touched, picked at, or messed with, the more chances the virus has to transfer to your hands, tools, shoes, or surrounding areas.
Plantar warts can be spread to other areas of your own feet if the virus comes into contact with small cuts, wounds, or cracks on your feet.
Plantar warts can take hold quicker if your immune system is not at its peak performance, so boosting your immune system and overall health may help prevent the spread of plantar warts on yourself.
While the warts are highly unlikely to spread anywhere else on your body other than the skin on your feet, it is possible for multiple plantar warts to pop up if you are constantly touching and picking at the lesion.
How to avoid spreading a plantar wart on your own feet:
Clean all tools used on the feet (nail clippers, pumice stones)
Avoid picking at the wart
Avoid getting small cuts or cracks on your feet
Wash your hands after touching the wart
Do not attempt to file down or remove the wart yourself
Change socks regularly
Keep feet clean and dry
How to avoid spreading plantar warts to someone else
If you have a plantar wart, you will want to take steps to avoid giving this annoying affliction to anyone else.
The best step you can take when having a plantar wart is to have it treated and removed as soon as possible to reduce the amount of time that a contagious lesion is on your feet.
Plantar warts tend to thrive in warm, moist environments, so when you are in places such as pools, showers, and commonly barefoot-acceptable type areas, take extra care to avoid spreading the virus to others.
Have designated “pool/shower” shoes which you can wear in public spaces until the plantar wart is gone.
Also, you will want to take care to not share towels, socks, shoes, or any athletic footgear with anyone else during the time that you have a plantar wart.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.