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Warts in Children

Warts is a skin condition that is caused by a viral infection. Warts appear as raised bumps that are usually flesh tone in colour and are rough to the touch. Warts, though sometimes appear to be dark in colour. The two common types of warts that are found in children are common warts and plantar warts. Common warts are the one that is present on the hands and grows around the nail or on the back of your hands. Plantar warts are the one that occurs on the foot and usually found on the sole of the foot. They can be quite painful when walking due to their location.

Warts sometimes go away on its own without treatment. However, In certain cases where warts do nor stop growing in size or multiply rapidly, treatment options includes freezing, burning or application of topical solutions. Warts can be quite embarrassing for children due to their unsightly appearance. Removing the warts is advised at an early stage to block the further spreading of the virus that results in further breakouts

There is data to suggest that most warts will resolve on their own by 2-3 years. However, with their contagious nature, potential for symptoms and cause for social embarrassment, it is recommended to have these lesions treated by your doctor. Rarely, mostly in immunosuppressed patients, warts can transform into skin cancers.

Common methods for treating warts including duct tape, over-the-counter salicylic acid products, liquid nitrogen, cantharidin (“beetlejuice”), electrosurgery (burning) and curettage (scraping) or excision. Other treatment options include prescription topical medications (aldara, retin-A, podophyllin, etc), laser therapy, chemical peels, immunotherapy and rarely oral retinoids.

Yes and no. With treatments as described above, one can get rid of the clinically obvious warts. However, they can recur or develop new ones at any time in the future. Continued follow-up for treatment and detection of future lesions is essential.