Most of us have warts somewhere in our body at some point in our lives. Some people may not even be aware that they have warts since not all warts are noticeable or annoying. Warts are mostly harmless and simply disappear on their own after some time.
A wart is a viral skin infection, also known as verruca. It appears as a small area of hardened skin cells, usually with a bumpy surface, and comes in many sizes, shapes and colors. Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus or HPV, which is very common.It is common for people to get warts, which are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus tends to invade warm, moist places, like the fingers, hands, and feet. They are contagious when in contact with the skin of an infected person or by touching anything someone with a wart has used.
Unfortunately, children are more likely to get warts than adults. Warts can vary depending on the infecting strains of the virus, which can grow on different parts of the body.
• Common warts look like moles – grayish brown, raised and dome-shaped. They usually appear on the hands and feet. Common warts are most commonly caused by types 1, 2 and 3 strains of the HPV, which have a characteristic rough surface with black dots inside.
• Warts that are smooth with even tops are called flat warts. They only grow to the size of a pinhead and usually found on a child’s face. They are commonly found on a child’s face as small, pinhead sized warts. But they also grow on the arms, knees or hands. Flat warts are caused by HPV type 1 strain.
• Plantar wart is the only type of wart which can really hurt. These grow on the pressure points of the sole of the foot, which are hard, lumpy with a few black specks on the center. Types 1 and 2 strains of the HPV are responsible for this.
• Filiform warts are flesh-colored with finger-like appearance, that usually grow on the eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Genital warts are rarely found in children. They are caused by HPV strain types 6, 11, 16, 18, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 39, 40 and others, and specifically found on the anal, penile, vaginal, and cervical areas in adults. They are sexually transmitted warts and some may even cause cervical cancer in females (HPV types 16 and 18), if left untreated.
Warts in children do not cause much treatment concerns unless it causes pain or discomfort in children. Each type of wart has its own treatment process, so consult with your doctor first. Besides, there are warts like plantar warts, which are not easy to differentiate from corn and calluses. Treatment options include prescription medicine, cryosurgery, laser treatment, and surgical removal.
It is generally not necessary to have warts removed. They disappear on their own in several months or even years. Wart removal may only be needed in case it is too painful or causes too much discomfort. Some warts may grow back several months after removal.
Even though children are not really free from getting warts because it is so contagious, parents must still take preventive measures. Having the family develop the habit of frequently washing hands and skin is always a good idea. Additionally, have your children wear waterproof sandals or slippers in public showers, pools and locker rooms to lessen exposure to plantar warts and other infections. Remind them not to touch or use somebody else’s towel or anything that may have been in contact with a person with warts. And if your child has warts, remind him not to rub, scratch or pick at a wart to avoid spreading it to other parts his body.