Children are more prone to getting warts since their immune systems are still developing. The good news is that most warts are harmless.
Did you know that between 10% to 20% of children have common skin warts and while they are contagious, they’re typically harmless? Warts are most prevalent in children between the ages of 12 and 16 and children with chronic skin conditions, such as eczema, or who bite their nails or pick at hangnails are more prone to getting warts.
What are warts?
Warts are small (size of a pinhead to a pea), flesh-coloured noncancerous growths that can appear when your child’s skin is infected with one of the many viruses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. The virus triggers extra cell growth, which makes the outer layer of skin thick and hard in that spot. While they can grow anywhere your child has skin, they’re more likely to develop on your child’s hands or feet.
What causes them to spread?
Warts are very contagious and are spread mostly by direct skin contact, such as your child picking at their warts and then touching another part of their body. They can also be transferred by towels or clothing that have come into contact with a wart on your child’s body or on someone else’s.
How to prevent your child from getting warts
Here are a few suggestions in helping to prevent your child from developing warts:
- Ensure that your child has a healthy diet as this will boost their immune system and prevent wart recurrences.
- Every child should have their own towel and washcloth and should not be sharing one with someone else.
- Your child’s feet should be kept clean and dry. Socks and shoes should be changed daily.
- Children should be encouraged to wear slip slops when in communal changing rooms and when around the pool area.