Warts Q & A
What are warts?
Warts are small, grainy bumps on the skin that are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They’re dome-shaped, rough to the touch, and are commonly flesh-colored or off-flesh colored. Some warts have little black dots, which are actually tiny, clotted blood vessels.
Warts are most commonly found on the hands and fingers, but they can appear anywhere on your child’s body, including their toes, face, and knees. They can also develop on the soles of your child’s feet, where they’re called plantar warts. Unlike common warts, plantar warts are flat, and frequently painful.
How did my child get warts?
Warts are contagious and spread by physical contact, either in skin-to-skin contact or through shared objects, such as a towel or a pencil. The HPV virus typically enters the bloodstream through cracks in your child’s skin, such as a hangnail, a scrape, or a cut. Children that bite their nails tend to be highly susceptible to warts and develop them around their fingers and fingernails, where their skin is frequently ruptured.
It can take a wart as long as two to six months to appear after your child has been exposed. Children can sometimes be at a higher risk of developing warts because their immune systems are still developing and have not yet built up a proper defense to the virus. Everybody’s immune system is unique, though, and some children who come into contact with HPV never actually develop warts.
Should I see a doctor about my child’s warts?
Warts in children tend to go away without treatment after a few months or years. But if they’re particularly persistent, embarrassing, or painful for your child, you should book an appointment with Dr. Okoh to have them removed. Book an appointment immediately if your child has a wart that changes in appearance or color, or if they develop a wart on their face or genitals.
What are the treatment options for warts?
Dr. Okoh has extensive experience in administering a number of different treatment options for warts. Depending on the location of the wart, the symptoms, and your and your child’s preference, she might suggest any of the following:
- salicylic acid treatments
- cryotherapy, or freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen
- laser treatment
- minor surgery or cauterization
Because, unfortunately, there is no cure for HPV, even with treatment, warts have a tendency to come back or spread. Nonetheless, Dr. Okoh has decades of experience in making warts a much more manageable condition for your child to live with. Call or book an appointment online today to get your child on their way toward wart-free skin!