Warts seldom develop in children younger than two years old, but they’re contagious and occur commonly in school-age children. If your child has a wart that’s painful, spreading, or simply embarrassing, contact Dr. Paul Irra at Naples Pediatrics in Naples, Florida. He has many options for removing warts and plenty of experience working with children and parents to ensure their experience is comfortable and successful.
Warts are noncancerous growths on the skin that are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. There are many different types of HPV capable of creating various types of warts.
Warts can develop anywhere on the body, but these are the most common forms found in children and teens:
Common warts: These warts grow on the back of hands and around nails, and they usually have a gray-yellow or brown color and a rough surface.
Hand and foot warts: Plantar warts are located on the bottom of the foot, while palmer warts are located on the palms of the hands. Both are often quite painful and can appear in several colors, but they typically have small black dots, which are clotted blood vessels.
Flat warts: These warts are small, but they grow in clusters of up to 100 and usually appear on children’s faces.
Genital warts: Warts on the genitals are sexually transmitted. They’re soft compared to most warts, which often have rough surfaces. Some genital warts can cause cervical cancer, depending on the type of virus that caused the wart to develop.
Filiform warts: Small, long, narrow warts that grow on the eyelids, face, or neck.
Warts are contagious, but parents should know that coming into contact with HPV doesn’t mean their children will develop warts. The virus primarily spreads through breaks or cuts in the skin. Once it enters the body, the immune system often successfully stops the virus.
Children can pick up the virus through direct contact with another child who has warts or indirectly by touching something that a person with warts touched, such as a toy.
Children often get plantar warts by walking barefooted on a dirty ground where the virus lives or by walking in moist areas, such as around a swimming pool, where there are other barefooted people.
Warts often disappear without treatment, but this may take a year or longer, and they could spread during that time. Before performing any procedure, the doctors at Naples Pediatrics consider the child’s age, the location of the warts, the extent of the growths, and the child’s tolerance. Then they’ll talk with parents about the possible treatment options: