Warts in children

Definition - What are warts in children?

Warts are benign growths on the skin that are common in children. The warts are triggered by so-called human papilloma viruses (HPV). There are different types of virus and, depending on the type of virus, different types of warts develop, e.g. Plantar warts, flat warts, or common warts.

In children, warts appear mainly on the fingers but also in other places. Around every third child of primary school age is affected by warts.

Read more on the subject at: Warts

These warts are particularly common in children

  • Common warts: Common warts are the most common type of warts in children. They mainly kick on the hands or feet.

  • Plantar warts: They mainly occur on the sole of the foot. Plantar warts grow inward as they are pressed into the skin by the weight of the body.

  • Flat warts: They appear on the face or hands and are only slightly raised.

  • Special form: dellar warts are not real warts. They are caused by molluscum contagiosum viruses and occur on the face, neck, and armpits.

Causes - Why do children especially often have warts?

The cause of warts is an infestation with the human papillomavirus. These get into the skin through small lesions and lead to warts there.

Read more on the subject at: Viral warts

Children are particularly susceptible to warts. The reasons for this are:

  • Immune system not yet developed

  • a lot of skin contact with other children e.g. while playing

  • Propensity for minor wounds through which the viruses penetrate

  • increased risk with a tendency to allergies


Warts in children are typically a visual diagnosis. The dermatologist or pediatrician can determine that it is a wart just by looking at it. Based on the location and shape, it can usually also be determined what shape the wart is.

If you are unsure, a tissue sample can be taken and sent to a laboratory. In the vast majority of cases, however, this is not necessary.

Concomitant symptoms

In most cases, warts are mainly perceived as cosmetically annoying, especially if they appear on the face or hands. Depending on the type of wart, other symptoms may also occur.

Plantar warts can cause pain when walking due to their location on the sole of the foot. Severe itching can occur with flat warts. By scratching the warts, the viruses are distributed further and new warts appear along the scratch track. Common warts usually don't cause pain or itchiness.

Treatment / therapy

In many cases, warts go away on their own after a while without treatment. There isn't necessarily a medical reason to treat it. If, however, they are perceived as cosmetically disturbing or cause pain, various treatment approaches are possible.

  • Dissolving the horny layer:
    With the help of salicylic acid or lactic acid as a solution or plaster, the horny layer of the skin is dissolved. The top layer must be removed regularly with a small file during treatment. So that the surrounding, unaffected skin is not damaged, it can e.g. be creamed with Vaseline. Treatment can last up to a few months.
  • Freezing:
    When freezing, the doctor treats the wart with liquid nitrogen. This treatment must also be repeated several times. Various icing sticks are also available in the pharmacy that promise a similar effect. However, these are not as effective as icing at the doctor's.
    Read more at: The removal of the warts through icing
  • Distance:
    If there are many or very large warts, surgical or laser removal may be necessary. However, the above methods are usually sufficient.
  • Home remedies:
    There are a number of other home remedies for warts such as Apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, duct tape. However, there is no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of the funds.

Also read: Medicines for warts

It is important to note that clothes and towels that have come into contact with the wart should be washed at a minimum of 60 ° C. This prevents the wart viruses from spreading further.

To prevent warts, bathing shoes should be worn in swimming pools, saunas, changing rooms and the like. It is also important to always dry the spaces between the toes thoroughly after bathing or showering. Good skin care routine can also reduce the skin's susceptibility to warts.

Read more on the subject at: Removing warts


Many warts in children go away on their own after weeks or months, once the body has successfully defeated the virus. The warts usually disappear a little faster with therapy, but most forms of therapy have to be repeated several times.

However, once the warts have healed, there is no immunity. Re-infection with the wart virus is possible and the relapse rate is relatively high.

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