Katherine E. Penny, D.O.
Common warts are local growths on the skin, caused by the Human Papilloma Virus, also known as HPV. If your child has a wart, you will notice a hard, tiny bump on the skin. The bump can be white, pink or brown and the inside may appear to have a black dot or speck that looks like a hair.
It is common for warts to appear on the hands, fingers, arms and feet, but can show up anywhere on the body. Generally, warts are harmless and do not cause any pain. However, warts on the feet (planter warts) can be very painful.
Children are more likely to get warts than adults. Those who bite their fingernails and hangnails, and those who have weak immune systems are even more prone to getting the virus.
Warts eventually go away on their own. However, they may cause children to be self conscious about their appearance. If your child appears to have a wart, you should have a physician look at it to determine that it is in fact and wart before beginning any type of treatment. The physician will also want to look at the wart to ensure it is not a cancerous growth.
Never try to treat a wart on an infant or young child without the supervision of a physician. If your older child has a wart (and a physician has confirmed it is indeed a wart), you may want to try one of these approaches:
Warts are contagious. You can help your child prevent the spreading of warts by encouraging them not to pick at the wart. Explain to your child that warts on the hands can spread to the face, mouth and nose when they bite fingernails or pick their nose.
If warts develop on the feet, genitals, or face, new warts develop after 2 weeks of treatment, the warts are still present after 8 weeks of treatment or you have other concerns or questions, contact your child’s physician.