Plantar Warts in children: All you need to know

Justina Valentine

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Plantar Warts in children

Plantar warts in children are a common condition in children and adults. This type of wart usually appears on the heels or balls of the feet and is caused by the human papillomavirus.

These warts are not cancerous growths and do not cause symptoms. However, there are many variants, which resolve naturally on their own.

Plantar warts can cause significant pain and discomfort they, however, do not impose any serious health risks on the child.

In this article, we will learn about plantar warts in children, the symptoms, risk factors, complications, and treatment options. Let’s get started.

What are plantar warts?

Plantar warts in children

Plantar Warts, also known as foot warts, are skin growths; that are benign and can be generated in different parts of the body and in different ways.

This type of wart is a regular-shaped growth that has small dark dots inside. The wart is usually located on the heels, soles, and areas that support the pulse. In addition, they are caused by a virus of the HPV family; they are contagious and very common.

Although plantar warts can affect people of any age. Although, they are more common among adolescents and children.

Symptoms of plantar warts in children

The presence of what is commonly referred to as “wart seeds,” or black specks, inside the lump called verruca vulgaris.

  • Discomfort and pain while walking and standing.
  • A growth that prevents the skin’s natural ridges and lines on your foot.
  • Callus or appearance of a small lump with thicker skin usually at the base of the toes or on the ball or heel.
  • On brown and Black skin, the growth may be lighter than on unaffected skin.

Causes of plantar warts in children

The main cause of plantar wart is the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus has many variations, but only a few cause plantar warts.

The human papillomavirus enters the skin through cuts or cracks in the soles. HPV is very common and has more than 100 different variants, but only a few can cause foot warts.

For a medical diagnosis, we advise you to consult your doctor for a professional diagnosis.

Risk factors of plantar warts:

Anyone can develop plantar wart, but this type of wart is more likely to affect:

  • Those with weakened immune systems.
  • Teenagers or kids using public restrooms.
  • Exposure to those who have plantar warts.
  • People with a history of plantar warts.
  • Walking barefoot through an affected area such as beaches, spas, locker rooms, or swimming pools.

Transmission of plantar warts in children

Plantar warts are caused by HPV strains that are not highly contagious. As a result, the virus cannot be spread through direct contact from one person to another. The immune system of each individual reacts differently to HPV.

In most cases, viruses are spread through direct skin contact. Touching certain objects, such as towels, may also result in transmission. Some people are more prone to developing warts.

However, not everyone who comes into contact with it gets warts. Even members of the same family have different reactions to the virus. More warts may form if the virus spreads from the initial site of infection.

Plantar wart treatment for a child

How to treat plantar warts in children? This is a very frequent question since around 4% of the population suffers from this condition. Plantar warts are usually harmless to children with healthy immune systems.

They even tend to disappear on their own, which will depend on the state of health, the type of virus, and the wart.

The best way to eliminate this wart is to talk to a professional podiatrist to assess the case and apply the best treatment. However, the most common treatments to cure plantar warts are:

The application of acids

The most applied types of acids are lactic acid and salicylic acid in different concentrations. This procedure can irritate the skin’s surface, but it is usually well tolerated.

The solution is applied several times a day to hardened skin for a few weeks.


Cryotherapy involves several sessions of applying liquid nitrogen to the plantar wart to remove it. It is performed by a dermatologist and takes more than one session.

The cold freezes the wart, causing the dead tissue to fall off within a week. Because nitrogen is extremely cold, it can cause stinging pain and skin reddening.

Surgical removal by cauterization or curettage

Surgical excision and cauterization of warts are not recommended as standard treatment because they can be painful and scarring. This excision is performed when other treatments are not effective as it can leave scars.

Also, as with any other destructive treatment, there is no guarantee that the wart will not recur. Recurrence rates can be as high as 30%.

The laser or thermal burn

This treatment must be carried out with several sessions every three to four weeks to burn the closed blood vessels causing the infected tissue to die and fall off over time.

How long does it take a plantar wart to heal?

The plantar wart, if treatment is not applied, can take one or two years to heal if they are harmless.

In this case, it is more advisable to consult an expert podiatrist to help treat and make the wart disappear as soon as possible.

Plantar warts complications

Your regular posture or gait may change as a result of plantar wart pain, possibly without your knowledge. This alteration in how you stand, walk, or run may eventually result in joint or muscle pain.

How to prevent plantar wart

To prevent plantar warts, some of the below measures can be effective:

  • Wear shoes that fit properly and keep your feet clean.
  • Warts should be avoided. This includes any warts you may have. After touching a wart, thoroughly wash your hands.
  • Wear sandals or other foot protection when entering or exiting locker rooms, gym showers, or swimming pools.
  • Dry your feet thoroughly with a towel, ensuring that no moisture remains in the space between your toes, which is where interdigital mycosis is more likely to occur.
  • Use a moisturizer rich in allantoin, as well as vitamins E and A.
  • Select a pair of nail clippers to use on your warts that you wouldn’t use on your healthy skin or nails.
  • Avoid sharing shoes, socks, and other personal items.

Final thought

Plantar warts management depends on the constancy and compliance of the patient. It requires long treatment periods. Also, invasive procedures are often painful and require a long recovery time.

In this case, your child solely depends on you as a parent to care for, support, and make the right decision for their well-being.

However, keep in mind that wart treatment is based on an individualized approach and, in most cases, requires more than one therapeutic option to achieve a complete resolution.

Another aspect to keep in mind is to constantly remind your child to avoid touching the plantar wart. When touched, constantly wash hands properly, so as not to spread the human papillomavirus to other parts of the body.

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