What Are Warts?




Warts are a common, frustrating, and confusing problem for parents and children. In fact, some people still think that you get warts from frogs, that warts have 'seeds,' and have no idea that warts are a simple viral infection.
Although warts are caused by a virus and they are contagious, it is not clear why some people get them very easily, but other people in the same family, including household contacts, and their close friends and other contacts, don't get them.


Wart Symptoms

Common warts are flesh colored and have rough and irregular surfaces, have a dome shape, and can occur almost anywhere on a child's body.

Types of Warts

There are many different types of warts, most of which look different either because they are growing in different parts of the body or because they are caused by different viruses.


  • Classic or Common Warts
  • Plantar Warts - typically on the soles of a child's feet and can be painful. The little black dots in a plantar wart are broken blood vessels. Unlike a corn or callus, they do not retain the normal fingerprint marks around them.
  • Periungal Warts - warts around a fingernail or toenail
  • Flat Warts - smooth warts with flat tops and are often found on a child's face

Molluscum Contagiosum is not really a wart, but many doctors call them 'little warts.'Except for molluscum contagiosum, which is caused by a poxvirus, warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which also causes genital warts.


Wart Treatments

Your Pediatrician is likely to get frustrated when it comes to treating warts, as no wart treatment work consistently well and some are painful. Although most warts do typically go away on their own and may not require treatment, some do become painful, bothersome, rapidly spread, or don't go away, even after several years, and do need to be treated.

The most common treatments that your Pediatrician will likely try include freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen, which is called cryotherapy, or applying cantharidin to the warts. Both treatments should cause some blistering of the wart, causing it to come off, although multiple treatments are often necessary. The cantharidin treatments have the benefit of usually being painless, although it can trigger a large, painful blister later that day.

Although uncommon, a side effect of any treatment that induces a blister, including cryosurgery and using cantharidin, can be that the wart spreads to the edge of the blister, so that you end up with a much bigger wart after treatment. Another complication can be scarring.


Home Wart Treatments

Many parents try to treat their children's warts at home, which has become much easier now that home wart freezing kits are now available, An increasingly popular home wart remedy involves applying duct tape to warts. Using this duct tape treatment, you cover the wart with duct tape for six days. Next, remove the duct tape, soak the wart, and use an emery board or pumice stone to remove skin on top of the wart if possible. Reapply the duct tape after twenty-four hours and repeat the steps for one or two months, after which time over 80% of people often find that their warts are gone. for wart products click here.