Anyone can develop plantar warts. Plantar warts are found on the bottom of your foot, and are caused by the HPV virus; painful and unattractive, these warts can spread easily.
Plantar warts can affect people of all ages, but children between the age of 12 and 16 are most likely to get them. One of the risk factors for contracting these warts is the use of a public shower, something children in this age group are likely to do in the locker room at school after gym class, or as they head off to sleep away camp for the summer.
Kids are also more likely to get warts because of their lifestyle. Because warts are caused by a virus, they are contagious and you can ‘catch’ one by touching a surface that has been contaminated with HPV. Curious by nature, children touch more things and are also far more likely to walk barefoot, leaving them more susceptible to developing plantar warts than the rest of the population.
Treating Plantar Warts in Children
Now that you know why your kids are so vulnerable to these types of warts, I’m going to tell you what to do about them.
Unfortunately, plantar warts are the most painful wart you can have—some have likened the experience of having one to constantly walking on a small stone stuck in your shoe. Without treatment, warts can take as long as two years to go away, so, in my Houston podiatrist office, I prefer to intervene as soon as they develop on your kids. Two years is a long time for growing feet to hurt!
I tell all my patients to consult a doctor before trying any over-the-counter wart remedies, especially those who suffer from health conditions like diabetes that can leave feet vulnerable to injury. Many at-home remedies contain strong substances that should not be used without the advice and supervision of a physician.
Once your warts have been examined, we can determine the best way to get rid of them. We may decide that your wart can be removed with a drug store product, but here’s the thing: while there are plenty of over-the-counter wart treatments available, many of them don’t completely destroy the virus, meaning your child could keep getting the same wart again and again. The home treatments can hurt, too, and who wants to struggle with their kids to apply an uncomfortable product that won’t even work?
For that reason, when it comes to treating children’s warts, I often determine that the wart needs to be frozen off or burned with a laser. While slightly more uncomfortable, these techniques almost always work, even on the most stubborn of warts. They are also fast and conducted in-office, so all you need to do is hold your child’s hand and play the supportive parent.
At Tanglewood Foot Specialists, I offer a variety of effective wart treatments for your children; I can also manage their discomfort to make wart removal a stress free situation. If your child is dealing with the pain of plantar warts, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider so we can get rid of them as soon as possible.