Warts In Babies – Everything You Need To Know

6 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

Wart In Babies

Warts are not attractive in appearance, but they pose no health risk whatsoever. Warts are a condition that can affect any population of people, but they are unusual in children younger than two years of age. Do you have questions about how to identify a wart on your baby and what treatment options are available for it? In any case, despite the rarity of warts in babies, parents still need to be aware of the symptoms and treatment options available.

Warts are pretty uncommon in infants but are increasingly common as kids get older and come into contact with other kids. Ten to 20 percent of kids will develop warts at some point, most commonly after the age of 12. Continue reading if you are interested in learning more about warts in babies.

In This Article

What Are Warts?

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 bumps, similar to the head of cauliflower. Though warts can be a nuisance they are generally not painful and are usually harmless.

What Causes Warts?

What Causes Warts_

Viruses bring about warts. More specifically, human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts. There are more than 100 strains of the human papillomavirus. Any one of these strains can bring about warts in babies. Though the virus is not highly contagious, if your baby is vulnerable, he can get infected by this virus through direct contact.

It can be 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 the baby’s skin (on the affected area) to grow too fast, resulting in the formation of a wart.

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
    • Also 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, show 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 feels 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?

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 contacts 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 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.

What Are The Treatment Options For Warts In 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 a wart on your baby, have the doctor examine it. If your doctor feels he may recommend treatment.

Doctors follow 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 for 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 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.

The 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?

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 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 types 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 members have 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 your baby from catching the infection. Also, it is a good idea to use a separate bath and washcloth for every member of the family.

FAQ’s

1. Are Warts In Babies Common?

No, not really. Only 5-10% of children have warts. Babies have them too.

2. Will Warts In Babies Spread?

Yes, they can. It can spread by touch. If the baby keeps touching it and touching other parts of the body, it can spread.

3. Can Warts In Babies be Treated?

Yes, they can. However, doctors don’t advise this unless necessary. Warts can go way, on their own.

4. Can Baby Get Warts From the Mother?

Yes, they can. If the mother has genital warts, vaginal birth can spread to the baby. Baby touching warts on the mother and touching themselves can also spread the infection.

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