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Family Foot & Ankle

Why Kids Get Warts—and How to Prevent Them

Kids, it seems, are something like magnets for warts. Although people of any age can develop these annoying skin irritations, kids—particularly those in early adolescence and younger—are especially susceptible, as you may discover to your dismay when inspecting your little one’s feet.

So, what gives? Why do kids get these growths, and what can you do about them?

There are really two broad reasons why kids get warts more often than adults. The first is that kids are probably more likely to be exposed to the virus that causes them in the first place—HPV. The virus spreads through contact, either direct or indirect (for example, touching a surface that was touched by someone else who has them, like a locker room floor or playground equipment), and kids are more likely to be running around barefoot, touching everything in sight. They’re also probably more likely to have nicks, scrapes, and breaks that allow the infection to enter the skin.

Second, kids’ immune systems are generally less robust than those of adults, and they may not have built up an adequate defense against various types of HPV.

So, how do you keep your rambunctious little one from picking up the virus on their feet or hands—or worse, having an existing wart multiply and spread? Take our advice:

  • Make sure they don’t go barefoot in public places. Shower shoes or flip flops can keep HPV on the locker room floor and not on their feet.
  • Poor hygiene doesn’t cause the lesions, but washing hands and feet regularly (especially after contact with one or with an infected surface) can help prevent them from arriving or spreading.
  • Don’t pick! Touching or picking at the growth in one area can spread it to another.

If your child already has on one, seeking treatment might be the best way to prevent it from multiplying. Although they usually go away on their own after a year or two, they are contagious, and getting rid of one quickly is often the best way to make sure no others emerge.

Family Foot & Ankle Center can help your little one get rid of a wart that happens to be painful, embarrassing, or just plain annoying. The procedure is simple and can be conducted in our office. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 888-689-3317.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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