Â By Rebecca Long Pyper
Â We associate warts with witches, but to be honest, theyâ€™re pretty prevalent with kids too.
Â Thatâ€™s because warts are caused by the human papillomavirus â€” or HPV. Like other viruses, HPV is easily transmitted, but the better hygiene kids practice, the lower their chances of contracting warts.
Â Warts tend to be seen in skin thatâ€™s been beat up â€” think scraped knees, for instance, said Dr. Adam D. Wray, a dermatologist with Bingham Memorial Hospital. And according to KidsHealth.org, â€śIf you touch a towel, surface or anything else someone with a wart has used, you can pick up HPV. Kids who bite their fingernails or pick at hangnails get warts more often than kids who donâ€™t. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s important to avoid picking, rubbing or scratching a wart, whether itâ€™s on another person or on your own body.â€ť
Â In reality both kids and adults are susceptible to viruses that cause warts, but â€świth birthdays on the calendar our bodies tend to become immune to warts, and that’s why we tend to see warts more commonly in kids,â€ť Wray said.
Â Here are a few things parents ought to know about children and warts:
Â Warts will go away â€” eventually. Some vanish within several months, while others take years to disappear. â€śItâ€™s difficult to predict exactly when or how fast they will go away, which is why we usually treat them,â€ť Wray said.
Â Warts can spread. The possibility of spreading is another reason Wray recommends treating them. In general, having multiple warts is not concerning, but sometimes â€śhaving many warts can be a manifestation of an immune-system dysfunction. Having many warts may change treatment options,â€ť Wray said.
Â Warts can be removed multiple ways. Some painless options do exist, like topical creams and medicine that makes the body think itâ€™s allergic to the wart and start attacking it. But â€śmost methods have some discomfortâ€ť attached to them, like liquid nitrogen, cantharidin application, injections and laser treatment, Wray said. The bad news is that â€śwhenever thereâ€™s a lot of ways to treat something, it means nothing works really well, or we would just have one treatment,â€ť he said.
Â A dermatologist can determine the best plan for treating your little bumpy one. â€śThere are a lot of ways to treat warts, and itâ€™s just a matter of finding the best treatment for each patient,â€ť Wray said.