Plantar Warts In Children
Warts are callous like growth which are formed as a result of the infection of the skin caused by a virus called HPV (Human Papillomavirus).
Different types of warts are caused by different types of HPV .
The different kind of warts are common warts, plane warts and plantar (sole of the foot) warts.
The most common type of warts are plantar warts (Verrucae pedis).
Plantar warts have a cauliflower like appearance with black specks. They generally have an irregular border and may hurt upon compression. Warts mostly/always occur in areas of high pressure and friction, this area can become tender and painful to stand and/or walk on.
Plantar warts are caused by the local infection of the skin by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
They occur on the sole of the foot. They can occur anywhere on the sole of the foot but tend to mostly appear in areas of high pressure or friction (like ball of the foot or heel).
Human papillomavirus infects the outer layer of the skin leading to the formation of thick callous like growth.
Who can get Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts can occur in people of any age group although the peak incidence is between twelve and sixteen years of age.
- Plantar warts occur in areas of high pressure and friction, this area can become tender and painful to stand and walk on
- Being an active virus it can easily spread to other areas
- Can spread to other people
- Aesthetically not appealing
How can one contract plantar warts?
- Use of communal areas such as swimming pools, changing rooms, gymnasiums without footwear
- Weakened immune system due to certain medication or illness
- Avoid walking barefoot in communal areas such as swimming pools and gymnasiums
- Maintain good foot hygiene
- Change dirty socks regularly
- Avoid direct contact with warts
- Avoid scratching the warts as they may spread
- Cover the area with waterproof tape to avoid the spreading of virus to others
- Check your feet regularly. If you come across symptoms of plantar warts consult a podiatrist.
There are many treatment options available to treat plantar warts. All treatments rely on the childs’s immune system to recognise the virus and produce an immune response that will eliminate the wart(s).
Most common treatments are:
- Topical acid treatments applied to the affected area
- Cryotherapy - This is the most commonly used form of treatment
Cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold to bring about freezing of the affected tissue with liquid nitrogen. This will irritate the surface of the skin and may cause blistering. It is unlikely to cause scarring.
- Laser therapy
- Curettage - surgically removing the wart(s) under local anaesthesia (may leave scars).