Viral Warts in Children- Dr. Acky Friedman

Viral warts are one of the most common issues that concern parents. These are contagious warts the location and form of which vary. All warts are part of a wide group that is comprised of around 200 different types, which have different attributes of location, shape, age and population at risk of infection. These are typical skin lesions that usually do not cause any discomfort besides the aesthetics. These warts may appear in different area of the body: hands, feet, stomach, back and face; in clusters or sporadically, and in varying sizes. If you scratch the wart and injure it, it may lead to a local infection that requires treatment and the appearance scarring after healing. Please note that this phenomenon may disappear on its own (sometimes after a year or more), and if so- usually without leaving any trace.
Many parents view the wart as a lesion that should be removed (on grounds of the aesthetic aspect). On the other hand, many doctors will recommend keeping track of the wart during regular doctor visits and to avoid touching the wart, while educating the child to not to scratch it. The main reasons for the scarring effects of various treatments are that the treatments are long and frustrating and do not guarantee there won’t be a recurrence of this problem.

Existing treatments for destroying warts:
1. Local treatment with ointments: these purpose of these ointments is to peel off and decay the wart tissue until it dissolves. The treatment is administered at home and is painless, but it may be a long and frustrating process.
2. Physical ablation of the wart: in various physical methods: liquid nitrogen (freezing the wart), electric needle (burning the lesion), laser treatment (destroying the wart).

Any one of these treatments may leave scars forever.
3. “Folk remedies”, such as using fig resins for wart removal, are sometimes effective but the risk of scarring is high and common.

In conclusion, as in many cases, it doesn’t always make sense to treat children because their parents feel it’s an aesthetic problem. Sometimes the harm is greater than the benefit.

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