3 Ways To Protect Your Feet From Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are very contagious, so if someone in your household has them, you may assume that catching the warts is inevitable. Fortunately, this isn't the case, and there are many things you can do to avoid catching your family member's warts. Here are three ways to protect your feet from plantar warts.

Wear shower flip flops

You've probably heard that wearing shower flip flops in communal showers is a good idea, but when your family member has warts, you should be doing the same thing at home. Plantar warts enter your feet through small cracks in your skin, and the flip flops protect you by putting a barrier in between your feet and the contaminated shower.

This barrier is important because the viruses that cause plantar warts can live on surfaces for much longer than you might think. If a person with warts uses the shower in the morning, you may assume that your feet will be safe if you wait until the evening to shower. Sadly, it's not this easy. These wart viruses—HPV strains, 1, 2, 4 and 63—can survive for nearly two years on the floor.

Don't share towels

Family members may think nothing of using each others' towels, but when someone in the house has a contagious condition like a plantar wart, this shouldn't be done. If your family member dries their wart-covered foot with the towel, the viruses that caused their warts will live on the towel. Even if their towel has dried after their shower, the viruses will still be alive, and when you use that towel, the viruses will come into contact with your skin.

To protect yourself, make sure you only use your own towel to dry off. Tell your family member that you don't want to share towels so that they know not to use your towel. Labelled towel hooks can help family members identify which towel is theirs.

Wear slippers indoors

The floor of the shower isn't the only place that you can pick up a nasty plantar wart. Any surface in your house, like your tile floor, wood floor, carpets or bathmats, can carry the strains of HPV that cause plantar warts. Until your family member's wart is gone, make a habit of wearing slippers at all times indoors. Make sure your family member doesn't borrow your slippers!

If it's too warm indoors to wear slippers, thin socks are also acceptable. The important thing is just to have a barrier between your feet and potential infection.

Living with someone who has plantar warts doesn't mean that you need to resign yourself to becoming infected. Try these three strategies to protect your feet from painful and unsightly plantar warts. 

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