It's January, and that means many folks around Lemont are likely working on New Year's resolutions that include getting in shape and incorporating exercise into their routines.
This time of year is often busy at gyms and fitness centers, so if you're spending the winter burning calories at the Lemont Park District's CORE fitness facility or at gyms such as Cardinal Fitness or Curves, don't forget to take care of your feet to avoid ending up with something such as a wart.
One way people tend to get warts is by going barefoot in public places such as showers, pools, gyms and locker rooms. A wart is a non-cancerous skin growth caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) that gets into the skin through small cuts, cracks or abrasions.
Over time, warts develop into hard, rough growths on the surface of the skin. They have their own blood supply and nerves, which is why a wart can be painful when there's pressure. The most common warts are those on the bottom of the foot – called a plantar wart – but they can grow on top of the foot as well.
If left untreated, warts can spread to other parts of the feet and hands. They can be hard to treat and can often come back, but fortunately, my partner, Dr. Diana Emini, and I offer a variety of options at DM Foot and Ankle.
Treatment options include:
Topical medication: These attempt to break down the wart by applying strong acid. This treatment may need to be repeated every few weeks until the wart is gone.
Oral medication: Vitamins that boost the immune system can also be recommended as part of treatment.
Laser: We offer a laser in-house to remove stubborn warts. To lessen the pain, a local anesthetic is typically used.
Cryotherapy: This freezes the wart with nitrous dioxide to help destroy wart tissue.
Surgical excision: The wart can be removed surgically under local anesthetic.
To prevent warts from happening in the first place, remember to change your shoes and socks daily, keep your feet clean and dry and disinfect your shoes and shower after each use.
Don't hesitate to seek the help of a podiatrist if you notice any suspicious growths. At DM Foot and Ankle, we can diagnose such problems and get you on the path to health.
By Michelle Kim