No, your child did not touch a frog or come in contact with a witch. The wart they’ve developed on their foot, face, hands, or elsewhere is due to one of the 100 different subtypes of human papillomavirus (HPV).
HPV is nearly impossible to avoid; it’s present in public showers, on pool decks, on shared surfaces, and in shared toys and shoes. Children are just most susceptible to developing warts from it because their immune system hasn’t fully developed yet.
Even if warts are normal and common, it’s understandable that you’re alarmed when your child has one (or more)!
At Penguin Pediatrics, Dr. Umesh Kodu and Dr. Andrea McKennon can recommend the most effective over-the-counter remedies for your child’s warts. If your child’s warts are numerous, bothersome, or painful, we can offer prescription medications or in-office procedures to have them removed.
Here’s what you need to know about childhood warts and what to do when your child has one.
Warts can show up just about anywhere, but are most often seen on areas that contact surfaces – like the fingernails, feet, face, and knees. Warts aren’t usually painful, but they can rub against clothing uncomfortably. Plantar warts on the bottoms of the feet can cause pressure pain when your child walks.
Warts come in many forms. Your child may have a common wart, flat wart, plantar wart, or filiform wart.
These are usually found on fingers, hands, knees, and elbows. These small, hard bumps are shaped like a dome and are grayish-brown in color. The surface is rough and you may see black dots inside.
Flat warts are small and smooth. They are usually pink, brown, yellow, or light brown and develop in clusters, most commonly on the face.
Plantar warts develop on the bottom of your child’s feet. They can be painful and may appear in groups.
These thin, finger-like warts are flesh-colored. They often grow on or around the mouth, eyes, or nose.
If your child is bothered by a wart, you can help them get rid of it at home. Soak the wart in warm water and rub away any dead skin on its surface using an emery board (throw it away after use). Apply over-the-counter medicine and keep the wart covered to allow the treatment to soak in.
Remind your child not to pick at the wart as this could spread the virus.
Warts will likely go away on their own, too, but this can take several months or even years.
If you’re not able to wait for your child’s wart to fade away and at-home treatments aren’t sufficient, we can help. We’ll also recommend wart removal if the growth is painful, embarrassing, or uncomfortable.
If the wart is on your child’s face, definitely consult with us before using a topical medication to get rid of it.
Depending on the type and location of your child’s wart, we may recommend:
Within a few days after the doctor's treatment, the wart may fall off, but several treatments might be needed.
Our goal is to help your child get smooth, wart-free skin. If you’re concerned about your child’s wart, call one of our offices in Ashburn or Stone Ridge, Virginia, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.