A very common reason why children, adolescents and adults consult podiatrists is the appearance

 of warts on their feet. In adults, they usually are not a cause for concern. However, when they appear in children and adolescents, their parents tend to worry and they can pass on their anxiety to children.

The good news is that warts can be easily treated, ceasing to be a cause of concern for the family.

What are warts and what causes their appearance?

Warts are abnormal and harmless bumps on the skin caused by a virus commonly known as HPV or Human Papilloma Virus. Different types of papillomavirus cause different types of warts.

Warts usually are not dangerous. But, they can be ugly, contagious, embarrassing or even painful according to their location and size.

The most common localization of warts are the hands/feet, especially in the fingers.  But, they are also very common in the palm/soles area. Other frequent locations are the elbows, knees and the face.

Warts tend to appear alone and to be flat, but in children, they can present variations. In fact, sometimes they can appear on the feet in groups, causing a “mosaic”, in those cases, they tend to be painful.

Another painful location of warts is the periungual zone, they appear as thickened skin around the nails and cause painful fissures.

How are warts spread? Can I to avoid developing them?

Warts spread very easy, in fact, the statistics say that around 30% of children develop warts throughout their life. As we said before, the HPV is the cause of warts, so we must to prevent getting this virus.

HPV spreads through close contact from a child/adolescent to another. So, the best prevention is to teach our children to avoid having close contacts with other children and to have a proper hygiene.

It is also important to teach them to not touch other children’s’ warts and to avoid sharing personal objects, like towels.

Once the child or adolescent have a wart, it is also important to teach him/her to not touch the wart with another part of the body, like the fingers, because he/she can spread it to non-infected areas or even infect other people.

On the other hand, a child can be infected by his/her mother during the delivery if she has genital warts.

Should warts be treated?

It is important to say that sometimes, warts disappear spontaneously. But, in most cases, they must be treated to avoid their spread.

Likewise, if warts are located in the feet and cause discomfort, pain, interfere with the children/adolescent daily activities or even been a source of embarrassment, you must contact a podiatry.

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