Warts, also known as verrucas, are common skin growths in children caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can develop on various parts of a child’s body, including the hands, feet, face, and even genitals. Warts are typically rough to the touch and can differ in size, shape, and color.


Common warts (verruca vulgaris)

These typically appear on fingers, hands, and around nails. They’re raised, firm, and rough, often resembling a cauliflower with tiny black dots, which are clotted blood vessels.

Flat warts (verruca plana)

These warts are smoother, flatter, and usually show up in clusters on the face, arms, or legs. Children and teenagers are more prone to them. They can be yellow, pink, or flesh-colored.

Plantar warts

Found on the soles of the feet, these warts can be painful when a child walks or stands. Because kids are always on their feet, these warts can grow inward, forming a thick layer over them, resembling a callus. They might also have the characteristic black dots.

Genital warts

Although less common in children, these appear on the genital and anal areas. Transmission isn’t always due to sexual contact; shared towels or close physical contact can also be culprits. These warts differ in appearance, being raised, flat, or cauliflower-like, and are usually flesh-colored or slightly pink.

While most warts are harmless, they can be annoying or distressing for children. Sometimes, they might disappear on their own, but they can also multiply or persist.


Treatment options for warts include:

Many non-prescription wart removers with salicylic acid are safe for children. They’re available as liquids, gels, or adhesive pads. Parents should always follow the directions carefully and monitor their child’s skin for any reactions.

For persistent or larger warts, a doctor might suggest laser treatment. This procedure destroys the blood vessels feeding the wart, causing it to fade away.

A pediatrician or dermatologist might freeze the wart using liquid nitrogen. The process might be a bit uncomfortable, but it often results in the wart forming a blister and falling off.

For hard-to-treat warts, a healthcare professional might recommend treatments that stimulate the child’s immune system to combat the virus.

This method uses an electric current to remove the wart. It’s done under local anesthesia and is more suited for larger or stubborn warts.

Parents should seek advice from a pediatrician or pediatric dermatologist for proper diagnosis and to discuss the most appropriate treatment for their child’s warts.
Also, teaching kids about good hygiene and avoiding direct contact with warts can help prevent them from spreading.