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  • Select from over 100 symptoms to read more about managing your child's illness.

    Is Your Child Sick? TM


    Warts

    Is this your child's symptom?

    • Small raised growths that have a rough surface
    • Viral infection of the skin

    If NOT, try one of these:


    Symptoms of Warts

    • Raised, round, rough-surfaced growths on the skin
    • Skin-colored or pink
    • Most commonly occur on the hands, especially the fingers
    • Not painful unless located on the sole of the foot (plantar wart). Also can be painful if on part of a finger used for writing.

    Cause of Warts

    • Warts are caused by several human papilloma viruses
    • Different types of warts are caused by different papilloma viruses

    Prevention of Spread to Others

    • Avoid baths or hot tubs with other children. Reason: Warts can spread in warm water.
    • Also, avoid sharing washcloths or towels.
    • Contact sports: Warts can spread to other team members. Warts should be covered or treated.
    • Time it takes to get warts after close contact: 3 months

    When to Call for Warts

    When to Call for Warts

    Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

    • Redness or red streak spreading from wart with fever
    • Your child looks or acts very sick

    Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

    • Redness or red streak spreading from wart without fever
    • Boil suspected (painful, non-itchy, red lump)
    • You think your child needs to be seen

    Call Doctor During Office Hours

    • Wart on bottom of foot (plantar wart)
    • Wart on face
    • Wart on genitals or anus
    • 4 or more warts
    • Pus is draining from the wart (Apply antibiotic ointment 3 times per day until seen)
    • On treatment more than 2 weeks and new warts appear
    • On treatment more than 8 weeks and warts not gone
    • You have other questions or concerns

    Self Care at Home

    • Common warts - 3 or less

    Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

    • Redness or red streak spreading from wart with fever
    • Your child looks or acts very sick

    Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

    • Redness or red streak spreading from wart without fever
    • Boil suspected (painful, non-itchy, red lump)
    • You think your child needs to be seen

    Call Doctor During Office Hours

    • Wart on bottom of foot (plantar wart)
    • Wart on face
    • Wart on genitals or anus
    • 4 or more warts
    • Pus is draining from the wart (Apply antibiotic ointment 3 times per day until seen)
    • On treatment more than 2 weeks and new warts appear
    • On treatment more than 8 weeks and warts not gone
    • You have other questions or concerns

    Self Care at Home

    • Common warts - 3 or less

    Care Advice for Warts

    1. What You Should Know About Warts:
      • Warts are common (10% of children).
      • Warts are harmless and most can be treated at home.
      • The sooner you treat them, the less they will spread.
      • Here is some care advice that should help.
    2. Wart-Removing Acid:
      • Buy a wart medicine with 17% salicylic acid (such as Compound W). No prescription is needed.
      • Apply the acid once a day to the top of the wart. If there are many warts, treat the 3 largest ones.
      • Since it's an acid, avoid getting any near the eyes or mouth. Also try to keep it off the normal skin.
      • The acid will turn the wart into dead skin (it will turn white).
    3. Duct Tape - Cover the Wart:
      • The acid will work faster if it is covered with duct tape. Do not use regular tape.
      • If you don't want to use an acid, use duct tape alone.
      • Covering warts with duct tape can irritate the warts. This will turn on the body's immune system.
      • Cover as many of the warts as possible. Cover at least 3 of them.
      • The covered warts become red and start to die. Once this happens, often all the warts will go away.
      • Try to keep the warts covered all the time.
      • Remove the tape once per day, usually before bathing. Then replace it after bathing.
      • Some children object to having the tape on at school. At the very least, tape it every night.
    4. Remove Dead Wart:
      • Once or twice a week, remove the dead wart material. Do this by paring it down with a disposable razor.
      • This is easier to do than you think. It shouldn't cause any pain or bleeding.
      • Soak the area first in warm water for 10 minutes. Reason: The dead wart will be easier to remove.
      • Some children won't want you to cut off the layer of dead wart. Rub it off with a washcloth instead.
    5. Prevention of Spread to Other Areas of Your Child's Body:
      • Discourage your child from picking at the wart. Picking it and scratching a new area with the same finger can spread warts. A new wart can form in 1 to 2 months.
      • Chewing or sucking on them can lead to similar warts on the face.
      • If your child is doing this, cover the wart. Use a bandage (such as Band-Aid).
      • Keep your child's fingernails cut short and wash your child's hands more often.
    6. What to Expect:
      • Without treatment, warts go away in about 2 years.
      • With home treatment, they can usually be cleared up in 2 to 3 months.
      • There are no shortcuts to treating warts.
    7. Return to School:
      • Your child doesn't have to miss any child care or school for warts.
      • There is only a mild risk that warts spread to others.
    8. Call Your Doctor If:
      • Warts develop on the feet, genitals, or face
      • New warts develop after 2 weeks of treatment
      • Warts are still present after 12 weeks of treatment
      • You think your child needs to be seen

    And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

    Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

    Copyright 2000-2019 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

    Warts

    A wart is a growth caused by a virus. Warts can be spread easily as show in this picture. The wart was spread from the finger to the lip. Children often chew on warts which caused them to spread.