Plantar warts are a viral infection of the surface layer of the skin called the dermis and are reasonably contagious. They are a ‘normal’ type of wart – located on the plantar surface – or the sole – of your foot. If you have gotten a wart on your foot, it means that you have stepped on a viral wart particle that has dropped off another wart on a human and stayed alive long enough to be picked up by you. Swimming pools and public showers often get the blame for transmitting warts which is probably reasonably accurate because the viral wart particles live a lot longer when dropped into a damp area. Also, your skin is much more receptive to being infected when it is nicely plumped up and waterlogged, creating more gaps between the skin cells.
We would probably all like to think that we must have caught this unpleasant thing from some dirty stranger. Consider this though now that you have a wart of your own: who is most likely to put their foot where yours has been, immediately after you, in a wet place? The number one person most at risk from getting a wart from you, is you! In our podiatry practice, we rarely see people with a single wart. Often there is the bigger, oldest “mother” wart and several other smaller ones of varying ages and sizes. The next most at risk from your warty hitchhiker is your family or others who share the wet areas of your home. More information is available at our printable Plantar Warts Info Sheet. Alternatively, use this link to return to out Podiatry FAQs Blog.