It is not a pleasing topic to be discussed today. The word “wart” sounds terrible and even the Latin name “Verrucae” does not bode well. Since many rumors and medical half-truths are in circulation about the development and treatment of warts, today father wants to bring a little light into the darkness.
Warts are a collective name for benign skin growths, which, clearly limited, can occur in a wide variety of forms. They are caused by viruses, the so-called wart viruses. These are contagious and you can infect yourself and others with them.
The infection occurs by smear infection, ie by the direct contact with a person or an object. Via minute injuries of the skin or the mucous membranes, viruses reach the uppermost layer of the skin cells and multiply in the cell nuclei. The incubation period is between four weeks and eight months.
Warts are therefore not transmitted by the blood, as it is often called in the vernacular. And also that warts arise from contact with frogs or toads, is a superstition.
Children and adolescents
Warty viruses are found all over the world and mostly children and adolescents are affected. This is not surprising, because the viruses can spread very easily especially in public places such as kindergartens, schools or swimming pools.
They are very rare in children under the age of 3, but then the frequency increases significantly. About five to ten percent of children between the ages of four and six have warts, and between 15 and 20 percent of adolescents aged between 16 and 18. Thereafter, the number of warting in adults again decreases sharply. Children with sensitive skin are at an increased risk of contracting warts.
Wart viruses are extremely diverse. So far, more than 100 different subtypes are known. Among the most common types that occur specifically in children and adolescents include:
The vulgar wart , also called spiny wart . It is the most common type of warts with about 70 percent and occurs particularly often in children and adolescents. About 20 percent of all twelve-year-olds are afflicted with such a wart, but only two to three percent of all adults. The first pinhead-sized nodules verhornen over time and can sometimes propagate beetartig on the skin surface. A mother wart is then surrounded by several small daughter warts. Especially on the hands, fingers and in the nail environment they occur. But they can also occur on the soles of the feet, on the face or on the back and chest.
The flat, youthful warts are found mainly on the face, neck and arms. The name says it, they usually occur in children and adolescents and often form after some time by themselves. Girls are more affected by these, up to five millimeters large, skin-colored to brown skin symptoms than boys.
Thorn warts develop on the soles of the feet. As all the weight of the body rests on them, they grow thorn-like in depth, where the diameter of the diarrhea can increase considerably, not infrequently reaching twice the extent of the surface of the skin. Characteristic of Dornenwarzen are the brown-black spots, which are caused by small bleeding between the upper and the dermis. Thorn warts can be very painful, because while running, the spine can press on nerve fibers.
The molluscas bulge like a hemisphere over the skin surface and are often found in children and adults with a tendency to sensitive skin. These pinhead-to-pea-sized nodules take their name from a characteristic indentation in the middle. Most affected are the arms, the legs and the trunk, not infrequently also the face.
Genital warts prefer a moist and warm environment and are found in the genital and anal area again. They look similar to a Hahnenkamm and are usually transmitted through public toilets or intimate contact. If the warts are colonized with bacteria or fungi, it also causes a strong itching. In recent years, this form of warts has increased significantly.
Treatment of warts in children
If you discover warts on your offspring, you should first prevent your child from playing around with them and possibly even scratching the wart. Not an easy task for parents, especially with smaller children. But it is important to avoid spreading because of the high risk of self-infection in all circumstances.
Warts often disappear within two years without treatment. If your child has no symptoms and you do not notice an increase, you may well wait for an improvement. If this is not the case, a local self-treatment, a treatment by the dermatologist or a combination of both can be done.
First, you could try to tackle the warts with tape. This home remedy can actually help in a miraculous way, but in other cases has maximally led to skin irritation. Also garlic should be helpful; but is also controversial in its effect.
Replacing the warts is the next step. For this they are brushed with a special solution or covered with a special plaster, which are available over the counter in the pharmacy. For treatment are drugs with a peeling effect, such as. As lactic acid, salicylic acid or vitamin A acid. Warts can also be successfully treated with herbal medicines, such as the root of the foot, the tea tree oil or the active substances of the tree of life.
One of the simplest and at the same time very effective forms of treatment of warts is icing with liquid nitrogen. This method can be carried out at home with little risk of infection. But especially with the sensitive skin of children extreme caution is advised, so as not to damage the healthy skin.
The next more aggressive stage are prescription drugs, which should also act against the actual virus material.
If all that does not help, the walk to the dermatologist is inevitable. There, the wart can be iced, electrically wounded or surgically removed. The treatment with a high-energy laser promises success. Several sessions are usually necessary – about three to five on the hands and five to eight on the feet. However, the laser therapy is quite painful.
Presumably, a humid environment promotes infection. But it is by no means necessary, because wart viruses are really everywhere. Nevertheless, your children should always wear bathing shoes in public shower rooms, swimming pools, sports halls or hotels and, especially after every visit to the swimming pool, dry their feet well.
In general, parents should be careful to keep children’s feet warm and dry at all times and to ensure that excessive stress on the skin of children, such as mechanical friction, is avoided.
Even with a strong immune system decreases the susceptibility to wart viruses. Compliance with the simplest hygienic rules should be self-evident anyway.
No miracle cure
Warts are strange fellows. They may disappear spontaneously for no apparent reason, but on the other hand, prove very persistent to therapeutic measures. And unfortunately there is no such thing as a miracle cure that makes warts disappear forever. They love to come back. And then the same game starts again …