Freeze Off Your Warts With Liquid Nitrogen

Freeze Off Your Warts With Liquid Nitrogen

It’s not unusual that your kid has a wart on their hand or foot. Warts are caused by a strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that enters through small cuts or splits in the skin. If your child bites their fingernails, picks at hangnails, or uses a locker room or public pool, they’re at particular risk of being exposed to this super-common virus.

The good news is that warts are generally not harmful. They may be located in an uncomfortable place, like the bottom of your child’s foot, or they may cause embarrassment, but they usually go away on their own after a few months. 

Warts are also easy to get rid of. At Penguin Pediatrics, we offer wart treatments that literally freeze warts away using liquid nitrogen to restore smooth, wart-free skin. 

Identifying a wart

Warts vary in size, shape, and texture. Some are large and rough, while others may be tiny and grow as a cluster. They commonly appear on the hands, feet, knees, and face, but can develop just about anywhere. 

The types of warts are common, flat, filiform, and plantar, and filiform.

Common warts

These are usually shaped like a dome and are grayish-brown. Usually the surface is rough with black dots.

Flat warts

Smoother than other types of warts, flat warts have, well, a flat top. They can be pink, yellow, or light brown. 

Filiform warts

These long, finger-shaped warts are usually flesh colored and appear around the eyes, nose, or mouth. 

Plantar warts

These warts appear on the bottom of the feet and can cause painful pressure when your child walks. 

What is cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy involves applying liquid nitrogen to a growth (like a wart) causing it to freeze and die.

This procedure can be done right in the familiar, welcoming office of Penguin Pediatrics, and it only takes about one minute.

What to expect during cryotherapy

Depending on the type and size of the wart, our pediatrician may trim the wart with a small scalpel. Cryotherapy may be uncomfortable for your child, but usually doesn’t involve any anesthetic. Talk to us if you’re concerned about what your child’s reaction will be, as we certainly don’t want them to feel pain.

Your doctor places a small dab of liquid nitrogen to the wart using a cotton swab or sprays it directly onto the wart. 

Within a few hours of treatment, your child may see a blister form around the treated wart. The blister dries up within a few days and the wart falls off. 

Your child’s wart may need between 1-4 treatments to fully resolve. Usually, these treatments are scheduled 1-3 weeks apart. 

Prevent warts in your child

Of course, your child is always at risk of developing a wart, but certain steps can help keep them wart-free. Discourage them from sharing towels, bathmats, or going barefoot in a public locker room or pool deck.

Don’t pick at existing warts, as this can spread the virus to other areas you touch and cause more warts to form. Help them break the habit of picking at their fingers or fingernails. And, good hand-washing habits help keep warts (and many other viruses) away.

If your child has a wart that’s unsightly or uncomfortable, contact Penguin Pediatrics. Call one of our offices in Stone Ridge or Ashburn, Virginia, or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.

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