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Not from Toads: Where Warts Come From

People believe some pretty strange things sometimes. Typically it’s just a lack of knowledge. Someone somewhere told them something, or they read about it on the internet, and now they’re sure all of it is true. Groups like Mythbusters and Snopes are around to test those claims and set the record straight—which is helpful for a lot of things in life, including your health. People have a lot of misconceptions about issues like warts on the feet. Although most people know by now that warts aren’t from toads or witches, many still don’t understand what actually causes them.

Warts are uncomfortable bumps on the surface of the skin that are caused by a contagious virus. This virus is actually a few strands of the human papillomavirus, or HPV. The virus enters your skin through micro-cuts or damaged patches, though wet or rough skin is also vulnerable to it. Once it’s in, if the conditions are right, a bump develops.

You can be exposed to the virus many different ways and in many different places. It exists in the environment around you, particularly in warm, damp areas. Pools, locker rooms, saunas, and other similar places often foster it. The infection is fairly contagious, so you can catch it if you’re exposed to direct contact with it. Walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces, sharing footwear or towels with someone who has a wart, or even just touching someone else’s wart with your feet could be enough to develop one yourself.

You have a particularly high risk for getting this unpleasant bump if you have a compromised immune system, but anyone can get them. The good news is that they are treatable—though there are plenty of myths and misconceptions about remedies out there, too. If you’re concerned that you have a wart on your foot, or you’d just like to know more about them, connect with the Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC team through our website. You can also call (504) 708-4810 for an appointment.

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