Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Wart - Plantar

Definition

  • A wart on the bottom of the foot (plantar surface)
  • Viral infection of the skin

Call or Return If

  • Warts come back after the treatment ends
  • You think your child needs to be seen

About This Topic

Symptoms

  • Warts are round, rough-surfaced growths on the skin
  • Those on the sole of the foot are usually flattened.
  • Center contains tiny black dots. These are clotted little blood vessels.
  • Usually found on the weight bearing surfaces. This means the heel or ball of the foot.
  • Plantar warts are always painful with walking. Sometimes the pain causes a limp.

Cause

  • Warts are caused by several human papilloma viruses (HPV)

Prevention of Spread to Others

  • Avoid baths or hot tubs with other children. Reason: Warts can spread in warm water.
  • Also, avoid sharing washcloths or towels.
  • Time it takes to get them after close contact: 3 months

After Care Advice

Overview:
  • Plantar warts are painful and always need to be removed.
  • They can't be treated at home. Wart-removing acid rarely works on plantar warts.
  • The longer you wait, the more painful they will become.
  • Also small warts are much easier to treat than large warts.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
Referral to a Dermatologist:
  • Make an appointment with a doctor who is an expert on treating skin problems.
  • The wart can be destroyed with freezing or laser.
  • A second treatment is often needed 1 or 2 weeks later.
Frozen Warts:
  • After freezing, a blister almost always develops on top of the wart. Sometimes, it's a blood blister. A blister means the freezing was effective and destroyed the wart tissue.
  • Do not open the blister. It will dry up in a few days and peel off in 2 weeks. No treatment is needed.
  • If the blister does open and drain, apply antibiotic ointment. No prescription is needed. Use 3 times a day for 2 days.
  • For PAIN, give acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed.
Prevention of Spread to Other Areas of Your Child's Body:
  • Discourage your child from picking at the wart.
  • Reason: Picking it and scratching a new area with the same finger can spread warts. A new wart can form in 1 to 2 months.
  • If your child is doing this, cover the wart with a piece of Duct Tape.
  • Keep your child's fingernails cut short and wash your child's hands more often.
What to Expect:
  • Without 1 or 2 special treatments, the wart should be cured.
  • Without treatment, the wart could last 2 or 3 years.
Return to School:
  • Your child doesn't have to miss any child care or school for warts.
  • Warts are only mildly contagious to other people.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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