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Warts In Babies – Everything You Need To Know

4 min read

Warts are a common type of skin growth found in all age groups and gender. About 5-10% of children are reported to have warts. Though not very common, it appears in babies too. They usually appear as raised, rough, uneven bump, similar to the head of a cauliflower. Though warts can be a nuisance but they are generally not painful and are usually harmless.
warts in babies

What Causes Warts?

Viruses bring about warts. More specifically, human papilloma virus (HPV) causes warts. There are more than 100 strains of the human papilloma virus. Any one of these strains can bring about warts in babies. Though the virus is not highly contagious, but if your baby is vulnerable, he can get infected from this virus through direct contact with another child or from an object like a towel he touches. HPV infects the top layer of the skin of the baby. The virus causes the outer layer of baby’s skin (on the affected area) to grow too fast, resulting in the formation of a wart.

What Are The Types Of Warts?

There are different kinds of warts. They differ in size, appearance, color and texture.

  • Common warts:
    • Usually found on hands, knees and elbow
    • Usually appears on or around broken or damaged skin
    • Usually hard and domed shaped
    • Black dots can be seen (seed warts) if viewed closely
  • Flat warts:
    • Flat warts are more or less the size of a pinhead
    • Sometimes, flat warts appear as a cluster
    • They are smoother than other kinds of warts
    • As the name implies, flat warts have flat tops
    • Flat warts may appear pink, light brown or yellow
    • Flat warts, most commonly, shows up on the face
  • Plantar warts:
    • Plantar warts develop only on the soles of the feet
    • They are rather painful, uncomfortable and irritating and the baby feel it like a small stone under his feet while he walks (or attempts to walk)
  • Filiform warts:
    • Thin elongated finger-like shaped warts
    • Most commonly flesh-colored warts
    • Commonly found around the eyes, mouth and nose
Where Do Warts Commonly Appear In Babies?

They can affect any area of the body. However, warts have a tendency to appear on warm, soggy spots. Warts most often appear on the hands, especially around the nails or where small cuts or scratches happen to the skin. Other commonly affected regions are the face, knees, and elbows.

How Do Babies Get Warts?

By simply touching a wart on another person, your baby isn’t necessarily getting a wart. But at the same time, warts are contagious. The virus passes from person to person, through constant close contact like using the same towel or bath mat, shower floor etc. The babies usually get it:

  • When they are constantly touching any surface that is used by a person in the family having warts
  • Babies with a habit of biting their fingers are more prone to warts as their fingertips are more likely to get damaged and easily get infected when contacted with the virus
  • If the mother has genital warts, the virus can easily transmit to the baby during vaginal delivery
  • If the baby touches and picks his warts, then there are high chances of the warts spreading to other body parts
Are There Any Tests For Warts In Babies?

Usually warts are diagnosed based on their appearance. No blood test or lab test is needed to diagnose warts.
warts

What Are The Treatment Options For Warts on Babies?

Most warts in babies will disappear without any treatment within two to three months. However, some warts take a couple of years to disappear. In case you’re worried about wart on your baby, have the doctor examine it. If your doctor feels he may recommend a treatment.
Doctors follows different methods to treat warts, depending on the age of the baby and the severity of warts. Some of the most commonly followed treatment options are:

  • Applying prescription medications on warts. Remember to soak the wart in water, followed by gently scrubbing off the rough skin with a nail file is very important before applying the medicines. If the top layer of the wart is not smoothened, the medicines may not penetrate enough for visible results
  • Your doctor can also give you prescription-strength salicylic acid to apply at home to the warts on your baby
  • Electrocautery is another method. Here, electricity is used to heat the needle, which is put on the wart, and the wart is burned off. The small needle limits the area that is being burned
  • Cryosurgery, which is basically freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen, is another method
  • Laser treatment is also used to treat warts
Removing Warts With Duct Tape

One home remedy that is very popular to remove warts is the duct tape method. For this, cover the wart with duct tape and leave it on for about six days. Then remove the tape and soak the wart in water. Gently file the wart with a nail file and leave it uncovered overnight. Next morning repeat the whole process of covering the wart with duct tape. Keep doing this for a couple of months till the wart is completely gone. This method needs perseverance.

When Should I Call The Doctor If My Baby Has A Wart?

Any type of skin growth in babies should be checked by a doctor to be on the safer side. However, if the wart causes pain and seems to be growing fast, it is better to get it examined. Likewise, if there is a change in color or appearance of a wart or if there are signs of infection or discharge in the wart and is accompanied by an unexplained fever, take your baby to the doctor.
If warts appear on your baby’s anus or genitals or in his mouth, you should check with your doctor as these warts may be venereal warts which are usually contracted during childbirth and take several years to appear. These type of warts can sometimes lead to cervical or penile cancer when your child grows up.

What Can I Do To Prevent My Baby From Getting Warts?

If any of the family member has warts, it is advisable to wipe down the surface of the tub and floor with a diluted bleach solution before your put your baby down on these surfaces in order to prevent our baby from catching the infection. Also it is a good idea to use separate bath and washcloth for every member of the family.

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