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How Athletes Are Susceptible to Warts

Many people are susceptible to warts, but because of an athlete’s surroundings, they are at an even higher risk. It is important for athletes to learn what environments and factors put them at a higher risk, how to avoid those triggers, and what to do if they come down with warts. The dermatologists at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute are here to share valuable information on protecting athletes against warts.

What to Know About Warts and Athletes

What Are Warts?

Warts are a common skin condition that affect men and women at all different ages. They are caused by a strain of HPV and result in one or more bumps on the outer layer of the skin. The wart is full of clotted blood vessels that makes the wart appear darker than the skin. The wart feels hard and thick and will either lie flat if it’s on the sole of the foot or be raised if on the hands or fingers. There are common warts and plantar warts. Common warts appear on the fingernails and on the hands in children and young teens. These appear as raised bumps. Plantar warts appear on the bottom of the feet and essentially grow into your skin from being flattened due to walking. Both types of warts can be spread by touching the wart and then touching areas of your own body or another’s body. It is recommended to avoid skin-to-skin contact where warts are apparent.

Causes of Warts

Common and plantar warts are both caused from HPV, which can be picked up from shower floors, public places, and locker rooms. These wart breeding grounds are common areas for athletes, which is why they are more susceptible to warts. Before and after a practice or game, athletes should make a conscious effort not to walk barefoot in public areas and not to shower in a public area without shower shoes. Those with stronger immune systems may come in contact with HPV and never get warts, while others with less immunity are more susceptible. If you begin to notice signs of warts, it is best to get diagnosed by a dermatologist to avoid spreading it and to find treatment options.

Wart Treatments

Warts are treated differently based on the quantity you have and the severity of them. The most common treatment is over-the-counter medicine. This will contain salicylic acid to help dry up the wart. It is applied directly on the wart twice per day, and after consistent use, the wart should subside. Another option is cryotherapy. During cryotherapy, a dermatologist uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the warts. As the skin thaws, the warts fall off. Multiple treatments may be needed for the wart to completely fall off. Laser surgery can also help to vaporize the blood vessels with its narrow beam light. Multiple laser treatments may be needed to see complete results.

Whether or not you are an athlete and warts have become noticeable, it is time to reach out to a dermatologist at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute. We will help with diagnosis and treatment and to gain your confidence back. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, complete this form and we will be in touch.

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