Thanks to the swimming pools, communal showers, and shared locker rooms that are a common part of childhood, warts are extremely common in children. Warts occur more often in children than adults, and they can be painful and difficult to treat.
Warts are uncomfortable for children, but luckily, they are very treatable and don’t usually cause serious problems. Here’s what you need to know about warts in children from podiatrist Thomas Rambacher, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA, of Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle Mission Viejo, California.
Warts are a viral infection, which is caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. HPV can cause benign growths to appear on your child’s body. The bottom of the feet is one of the most common areas for warts to appear.
There are several different types of warts. The type that most frequently appears on your child’s feet is called plantar warts.
Plantar warts are thick, rough, and small growths that appear on the bottom of the foot. These growths can feel painful, especially when your child walks or puts pressure on their feet.
Other types of warts can also occasionally grow on your child’s feet. These include common warts, which look bumpy and rough on the skin, and filiform warts, which appear similar to skin tags.
Risk factors for warts in children
Warts are very common in children, but some children are more at risk than others. Your child is more likely to get warts on their feet if:
- They are in close contact with another person with warts.
- They walk around barefoot in common spaces, like communal showers and pools.
- They have a lowered immune system.
One of the best ways to help prevent warts in your child is to ensure they always cover their feet in pools, communal locker rooms, and showers.
Symptoms of warts
The symptoms of warts vary based on the type of warts your child has. Plantar warts, the most common type of warts on the bottom of the foot, can cause symptoms of tenderness and pain when your child puts weight on their foot.
Plantar warts form a hard lump on the bottom of the room, which can have black dots from the viral infection. Sometimes, plantar warts are also covered by a callus your foot forms to protect the area.
Other types of warts appear on your child’s feet looking like skin tags, rough patches, or smooth, flat bumps. Many types of warts also bleed if your child squeezes or picks at them.
Treating warts in children
Warts usually go away on their own, but this can take several months or even years, while the warts remain uncomfortable and painful. For prompt, guaranteed treatment, Dr. Rambacher recommends having your child’s foot wart treated at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle.
Often, Dr. Rambacher can treat your child’s warts with topical medication that kills the virus. If medication doesn’t treat the wart, he uses stronger methods, including using strong painless acid, prescription topical immunomodulation medicine, laser treatments, electrical, freeze and surgical options.
It can be hard to get rid of warts, but with podiatry help, your child can have painless, wart-free feet again in no time. Contact our team today for prompt, skilled treatment of your child’s wart.