During pregnancy, your body experiences many changes that can make it more difficult to move in the same ways as before pregnancy. You may find it more difficult to reach your feet to clean them or to put on your shoes, particularly as your pregnancy progresses. Nonetheless, proper foot care is still important to prevent contracting plantar warts.
Symptoms of Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are benign growths that generally appear on the heels or balls of the feet. Caused by a few specific strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), plantar warts are transmitted through direct contact with scrapes, cuts, and cracks in dry skin.
However, the particular strains of HPV that cause plantar warts are not highly contagious, so you may not necessarily contract a wart-causing virus even if you are exposed to a wart.
Symptoms of a plantar wart include a hard, rough growth on the bottom of your foot that may have wart seeds, which are clotted blood vessels that look like tiny black spots. Plantar warts may also have streaky lines in them and are oftentimes brown or gray.
How to Treat Plantar Warts Naturally During Pregnancy
It is important to treat warts as they can grow and spread. However, there is no known single treatment that can completely cure warts or prevent them from returning.
While some have tried to treat warts with various home remedies or with over-the-counter options, The American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine warns against trying to self-diagnose or treat warts without consulting your doctor.
Plantar warts tend to be stubborn, and trying to treat them by yourself can result in scarring and other skin damage. As such, it is best to prevent contracting a wart in the first place.
How to avoid acquiring or spreading warts:
- Make sure to keep your feet clean and dry.
- Change your socks daily.
- Wear sandals when in moist, communal areas such as pools and locker rooms.
- Do not share shoes or socks with other people.
- Allow your shoes to dry before wearing them.
- Avoid picking at existing warts, and do not rub warts with a pumice stone.
How to Treat Plantar Warts During Pregnancy When Naturally Does Not Work
If you think you may have a wart, have it examined by your podiatrist who will be able to determine if it is a wart or another skin lesion, as well as what treatment may be best. If you do in fact have a wart, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter treatment, a prescription medication, or another method for more stubborn warts.
Some of these treatments include the following:
- Salicylic acid: This may be used during pregnancy, but make sure to only apply it to a small portion of skin for a limited amount of time.
- Cryotherapy: This method may also be used during pregnancy and involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen. Multiple sessions may be needed to remove the wart.
- Injection of medication: Your doctor may inject medication into the wart to treat the virus. However, some of these medications, such as bleomycin, are not safe to take during pregnancy, so make sure to let your physician know that you are pregnant so he or she can prescribe a safe medication.
- Surgery: Your doctor may remove the wart surgically, but this is not something you should try to do on your own as doing so could result in scarring, infection, and other serious problems.
- Laser surgery: This method may be used to either burn the blood vessels connected to the wart so it will eventually die and fall off or to cut away the wart.
- Chemicals: Your doctor can also use certain chemicals to remove the wart.
If you think you may have a wart, clean and cover it with a Band-Aid, and then have it checked out by a doctor.
If you have diabetes and you think you may have a wart, it is important to contact your doctor, even if you think it is minor. The wart should only be treated under the supervision of a physician as diabetes puts you at greater risk of damage to your tendons, skin, and nerves.
Want to Know More?
- Human Papillomavirus: HPV
- Pregnancy Exercise Guidelines
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. American Podiatric Medical Association. (n.d.). Warts.
2. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, May 22). Plantar warts.
3. National Health Service. (2014). Warts and verrucas – Treatment.
4. PDR Network. (n.d.). Bleomycin.
5. The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine. (n.d.). Plantar warts.