Warts are a common–and unsightly–skin condition caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPV.
Warts can appear anywhere on the body. They are rough, brownish bumps that can be embarrassing, are sometimes painful, and are always contagious.
If your child has warts, here’s what to expect in terms of treatment and therapeutic outcomes.
Types of Warts
Common warts are the most frequent type of wart that occurs in children. These are the circular, raised, brown-to-tan warts that grow on the hands, feet, and in other areas of the body. Some common warts may be flat as well.
Plantar warts appear on the soles of the feet, and unlike other types of warts, they can be painful as children walk and run. These warts, and others, too, may develop in groups – and these clusters are called mosaic warts.
Filiform warts are more stalk-like, rather than short and round. Filiform warts may grow on delicate areas, such as the eyelids, making them more challenging to treat.
Wart Treatments For Kids
Warts should be treated as soon as they are noticed. Prompt action will prevent their spread to others as well as limit the number of warts on your child’s body. Ask your pediatrician which type of wart treatment is best for your child.
Treatments for warts include:
- Salicylic acid drops or patches (available over the counter) will gradually dissolve warts over a period of weeks to months.
- Cryotherapyis the in-office application of liquid nitrogen that essentially freezes the wart, so it falls off in a matter of days.
- Curettage and cautery, in-office scraping and heating of a wart with benefit of local anesthetic for quick removal.
- Laser treatmentwill heat and remove a wart within minutes in the doctor’s office.
After a visual inspection of your child’s warts, your pediatrician will recommend the wart removal treatment best suited for your child, based on their age, overall health, symptoms, as well as the number, size, and location of the warts.
The Stubbornness of Warts
Because warts originate with a virus, they are highly contagious, particularly if a child is in close contact with someone who has warts on their hands or feet. Also, children with weakened immune systems due to a chronic health condition or cancer treatment can more easily catch the virus and develop warts.
In addition to warts being easy to spread, they can also be difficult to eliminate. Your child’s pediatrician may treat one or several warts only to have them develop on another part of the body.
So, prevention remains key when it comes to warts. Make sure your child:
- Practices good handwashing
- Wears shoes outdoors
- Wears flip-flops or shower sandals poolside and in gym locker rooms and shower areas
- Does not touch another person’s warts
Wart Removal at Village Pediatric Group
At the Tuckahoe, New York, office of Village Pediatric Group, our board-certified pediatricians regularly treat children of all ages who have warts or other skin conditions.
To have your child’s skin evaluated call Village Pediatric Group at (914) 771-7070 to schedule a visit with Dr. McGowan, Dr. Bellevue, or Dr. Hughes. You can also request an appointment using our convenient online form.
We’re happy to help with this and other issues that can affect children.