Background: Plantar warts occur most commonly in adolescents and are more prevalent among users of public locker rooms. Previous studies have not differentiated shower rooms from locker rooms as risk factors.
Methods: The current study examined the prevalence of plantar warts among a group of 146 adolescents who used locker rooms. Subjects ranged in age from 10 to 18 years and were recruited from a public school and a swim club. All subjects used public locker rooms but only those in the swim club used communal showers on a regular basis. All subjects were interviewed by a physician and underwent an examination of the feet.
Results: There was a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of plantar warts between the shower room users (27%) and those who used only locker rooms (1.25%).
Conclusions: The present study suggests that public shower users are at greater risk for plantar warts than are locker room users who do not use communal showers.