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How to Keep Warts From Spreading

How to Keep Warts From Spreading

As many as 10-20% of children get skin warts. Warts are caused by a common virus — human papillomavirus (HPV) — and are generally harmless. But, they can interfere with your child’s self-esteem. 

Your son or daughter may be embarrassed by visible warts or be teased because of them. Plus, warts on the bottoms of the feet or in areas that rub against clothing can be uncomfortable or even painful.

Warts also have the tendency to spread quickly. Here’s what our team at Penguin Pediatrics recommends to treat your child’s warts and to prevent them from spreading or reoccurring. 

Stop the spread

Warts easily spread to other areas of the body or other people if proper precautions aren’t taken. 

Avoid touching your child’s wart. The virus that causes warts can enter your body through a cut or scratch, making you get a wart, too.

You should also avoid sharing towels, washcloths, socks, and other personal items. The virus that causes warts can travel on these items.

Have your child wash their hands often. They’re exposed to the virus that causes warts all the time. For example, if a child with warts plays on the monkey bars and your child follows, the virus can linger on the equipment and enter your child’s skin through small cracks. Washing their hands with soap and water after such play helps prevent the virus from taking hold. 

Help them avoid developing dry or cracked skin. Apply moisturizer and discourage nail biting and cuticle picking. The HPV virus can enter through these cracks and spread. 

Always have your child wear flip flops or other shoes in pool areas, public showers, and locker rooms. This helps them avoid getting warts and prevents them from spreading their warts to others.

If you have more than one child, don’t allow them to bathe together if one has warts. Make sure they each have their own towels, too. 

Treating existing warts

If your child has a wart, don’t worry. It will likely go away on its own. This can take a long time, so if you’re not willing or able to wait, we can help. 

We recommend you cover the wart so the virus doesn’t spread to other parts of your child’s body. Always wash your hands (and your child’s hands) after touching the wart. 

Over-the-counter wart treatments can help. They contain small amounts of salicylic acid that destroy the wart. The process takes committed application of the solution over several weeks. 

If your child has a stubborn wart, our providers at Penguin Pediatrics can offer wart treatments, including prescription strength salicylic acid treatments. We may also recommend freezing the wart off using medical-grade liquid nitrogen. 

If you or your child are bothered by warts on their hands, feet, or other body parts, call one of our offices at Penguin Pediatrics. You can also use the online booking tool to make an appointment. We’re here to help your child feel good about themselves and their health so they live a happier, more vital life.

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