How To Remove Plantar Warts

Plantar warts which occur on the feet are more common in summertime. Here’s how to treat plantar warts.

Ah, summertime. Beach volleyball, swimming, plantar warts.

Plantar warts, or warts on the soles of your feet or toes, can occur anytime but are more prevalent during summer. That’s because plantar warts are caused by the human papilomavirus or HPV that thrives in warm, moist environments such as swimming pool decks, public showers, and locker rooms.

Plantar warts usually start as a black dot, grow bigger (typically to the size of a pencil eraser), remain below the skin’s surface, and can become painful. And they’re tenacious — they typically return in spite of proper treatment and like to spread.

Plantar wart treatment options include:

  • Over-the-counter topical wart removers with varying amounts of salicylic acid. You can use liquids, gels, or pads. Some familiar brand names are Dr. Scholl’s Wart Remover, Compound W, and Wart-Off. Whichever product you choose, be sure to follow package directions because over-application of these products can burn the skin. It’s also a good idea to soak the affected area in warm water for five minutes before applying the salicylic acid which will enhance the effects of the medication. It can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months for warts to resolve.
  • Cryotherapy at the doctor’s office. Your doctor will use very cold liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart off.
  • Minor surgery at the doctor’s office. Your doctor may excise the wart (using local anesthetic) if it has grown deeply into the skin and is causing a lot of pain.
  • Use duct-tape. Although duct tape actually makes warts go away, it’s not my first recommendation. There are less sticky ways (pun intended) of removing them, such those mentioned above. If you want to use duct-tape, however, here’s how: Apply duct tape to the wart and leave it on for six days. Remove for ½ a day. Reapply the duct tape on the following morning and leave it on for another six days. Repeat this process until the wart is gone. It can takes up to a few weeks to a few months to work. Please, don’t ever try this on genital warts.

Never, cut off a wart yourself; it can to lead to pain, stitches, infection, and scarring.

If the wart isn’t painful and you don’t mind the way it looks, then you could opt to leave it alone. Warts will eventually dissolve on their own, but it could as long as two years.

Even if you successfully remove the wart, it can come back and spread, because the treatment doesn’t kill the virus that causes them. If you have a history of recurrent warts, then talk with your doctor about pursuing more aggressive treatment options.

Photo credit: FFC, aussiegall

An Unwanted Yoga Partner: Fungus

Yoga is good for your mind and body, including your skin. Yoga mats, on the other hand, might not be. Using someone else’s yoga mat for an hour could lead to an infection.

Fungus infections are common and appear as athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, and ringworm. Unfortunately, the fungus can survive on surfaces like mats long after the infected person has left. Although most people blame the gym locker room when they develop athlete’s foot, you can catch the fungus from a variety of places anytime you walk barefoot.

Fortunately, even if the fungus comes into contact with your skin, it doesn’t always lead to infection. Dry, cracked skin, or soft, wet skin disrupt your primary defense against the fungus — the densely packed barrier of skin cells, oils and proteins on your healthy skin’s surface. Here are 5 ways to prevent taking a fungus home with you from your next yoga class:

1. Bring your own mat. At least you know what you have.

2. Use an alcohol sanitizer on your hands and feet after your class. Sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol are excellent at drying up the fungus and killing it long before it has a chance to infect you.

3. Clean your yoga mat. Use a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and scrubbing will act as a fungicide. You can add a few drops of essential oils to the wash so that your neighbor doesn’t think that vinegar smell from your mat is coming from you.

4. Take a shower after class. Be sure to scrub your hands and feet with soap and water. Fungus sitting on the surface of your skin can easily be washed off.

5. Keep your skin healthy. Damaged, cracked, or moist skin is vulnerable skin. Dry your feet well and use antiperspirant on them if you have trouble keeping them dry. Moisturize daily to preserve a protective barrier of healthy skin which will keep infections out.

Photo: Terriko

Fish Pedicures and The PedEgg For Scaly Feet

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Put your foot into a tub of water and let hundreds of fish nibble on the dead skin on your feet. Who thought this was a good idea? Continue reading “Fish Pedicures and The PedEgg For Scaly Feet”

3 Ways to Prevent Foot Blisters

I recently wore a new pair of flip-flops to Sea World®. It was a hot day and my niece, who was visiting, wanted to see all 200 acres of the park. By the time we were ready to walk (miles) back to the car, I was hobbling from blisters on my feet. Continue reading “3 Ways to Prevent Foot Blisters”