A man shared a horrifying story of a disturbing foot infection in an attempt to warn others to avoid taking public showers.
The anonymous man sent his story to The Buzz, alongside photos of his foot.
"It started while I was training for my first ever half marathon. Over my lunch break, I would make a point to go to my local gym and run for a bit. I had never ran such a long distance before, so I wanted to make sure I was ready. Normally, I would make sure that I had all of the necessary supplies in my gym bag for after my run. There were a few occasions where I left out my flip flops that I would use when I showered, but not wanting to go back to work sweaty and smelly I made the decision to shower barefoot," the man explained.
"Within a fairly short amount of time, I noticed there was a spot on the bottom of my foot that began to itch. when I touched it, it was a bit harder that the rest of the flesh around it, but I didn't think anything of it. I figured I had just stepped on something and it was my body's response to the foreign object. I quickly found out that I had contracted a plantar wart on the bottom of my foot."
After discovering the wart, the man said he decided to try and treat it with remedies that included duct tape, banana peels, and acid treatments. It wasn't until six months later that he finally saw a specialist.
What occurs next is some of the worst pain I have felt, and something that I have endured for over a year. My doctor started treating my wart with cantharidin, an agent made from a beetle that causes the area it comes in contact with to blister. The idea is to get your body to recognize that it is trying to fight something and to kill the infection naturally. Every week I would go to the doctor, have the agent applied, have my foot blister and be in pain for the next few days. Each week the doctor would cut away the blistered skin, and apply it on the fresh skin underneath.
This went on for a few months, and the virus decided it would spread. One wart quickly turned into 5. When the treatments no longer worked, I moved to another doctor closer to my house. I went through the same treatments, but at a much higher concentration. My entire foot would swell and the pain was so bad, I couldn't walk. I couldn't even put my leg down as the blood rushing to my foot would cause the skin to swell and put me in excruciating pain.
The man ultimately underwent surgery to heal his foot, and even underwent a skin graft made from North Atlantic Cod fish. His foot finally began to close up.
"It will most likely be another month before I'm able to walk properly and start really getting back into the swing of things. Do yourself a favor, wear shoes in any public area where there is water. This virus thrives in those areas. The scary thing is, the virus can live for over two years on the surfaces as well. Take care of your feet so they can take care of you," he said.
Many readers backed up the man's story, pointing to their own experiences with plantar warts.
"Yes these are painful I've had to have three removed the last one about two weeks ago u went and had mine cute out the Dr. told me to soak my foot in white vinegar stating the day after sounds painful but it really isn't takes away all soarness," one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page.
"I'm sorry that that happened to you I don't walk around with no shoes on in public places so I don't have that problem but may God bless your feet and let him be healed now for me I love going outside barefoot water and all I sand off snow and it don't bother my feet in a public place where it goes too many germs," another added.