Warts are very common, especially in children. Notably because they are quite easy to catch. Warts affect around 7-10% of the population and a third of children aged 4-12. They can appear on many different parts of the body, such as the hand or feet (most often). What are the symptoms ? How to cure a wart in a child? How to prevent the appearance of wart? At what level to worry? We tell you everything!
What is a wart?
A wart is a growth of skin, or benign tumor, caused by the proliferation of cells after infection with a virus: the human papillomavirus (HPV) (note that there are several human papillomaviruses, but that they do not infect all skin).
The wart can stay several weeks to several months on the skin. But rest assured, it is often painless. The wart is transmitted by direct or indirect contact. Your child may as well catch one because of the shoes of his comrade who is infected (direct contact) or at the swimming pool, and in particular in the footbath (indirect contact). If the wart is moderately contagious, it is the virus. It is indeed present everywhere in our environment… and even in our bathroom. This virus infiltrates the body when your child’s skin is weakened and has skin lesions (eczema, wounds, micro cuts). As soon as it is active, it multiplies and infects the cells and the horn of the skin: hence the outgrowth of the skin. Warts are not related to poor hygiene!
There are several types of warts, but the most common is the common wart. It is recognized by its flesh or grayish color, with a hard dome, with an irregular surface. It is usually found on the fingers or feet. It is also because it is localized on the hands that it can invade other areas of the body.
The different types of warts
Depending on its appearance and location, a wart may be different from another. We take stock of the different common types of warts:
- Common warts: hard domed, flesh-colored or grayish appearance, irregular surface. Most often localized on the hand, fingers (and sometimes even at the base of the nail) or feet.
- Filiform warts: they are thinner than common warts and are found on the face, around the mouth and on the neck.
- Flat warts: slight elevation of the skin (not very prominent and hardly visible at the beginning), smooth surface, flesh-colored, pale or brown role. They are localized on the forehead, face, hands, forearms and fingers. These warts can be itchy.
- Plantar warts: They are more painful and can be disabling because they are located on the horn and toes, or in some cases, on the arch of the foot.
Warts: how to treat them?
If warts appear on the hand or feet, know that it is benign. Besides, this type of wart can go away on its own if you don’t treat it. Otherwise, you can go to a pharmacy where professionals can direct you to a product using the technique of cryotherapy.
On the other hand, if the wart bothers your child, you should consult a doctor or dermatologist. They may prescribe a keratolytic ointment, which will exfoliate the skin to remove the virus. Or a treatment by application of liquid nitrogen. As a last resort, they can use the laser.