Plantar Warts: After Your Child's Visit
Your Care Instructions
A plantar wart is a harmless skin growth. Plantar warts occur on
the bottom of the feet and may be painful when your child walks. A virus makes
the top layer of skin grow quickly, causing a wart. Warts usually go away on
their own in months or years.
Warts are spread easily. Your child can infect himself or herself
again by touching the wart and then touching another part of the body. Others
can also be infected by sharing towels or other personal items.
Most plantar warts do not need treatment. But if warts cause your
child pain or spread, your doctor may recommend that you use an
over-the-counter treatment. These include salicylic acid or duct tape. Your
doctor may prescribe a stronger medicine to put on warts or may inject them
with medicine. Your doctor also can remove warts through surgery or by freezing
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all
appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also
a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines
your child takes.
How can you care for your child at home?
- Use salicylic acid or duct
tape as your doctor directs. You put the medicine or the tape on a wart
for a while and then file down the dead skin on the wart. You use the
salicylic acid treatment for 2 to 3 months or the tape for 1 to 2 months.
- If your doctor prescribes
medicine to put on warts, use it exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor
if you think your child is having a problem with his or her medicine.
- Give your child comfortable
shoes and socks to wear. Avoid shoes that put a lot of pressure on the
- Pad the wart with
doughnut-shaped felt or a moleskin patch. You can buy these at a
drugstore. Put the pad around the plantar wart so that it relieves
pressure on the wart. You also can place pads or cushions in your child's
shoes to make walking more comfortable.
- Give your child an
over-the-counter medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen
(Advil, Motrin) if your child has pain. Read and follow all instructions
on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been
linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
- Do not give a child two or
more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many
pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much
acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
When should you call for help?
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your child has signs of
infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling,
warmth, or redness.
- Red streaks leading from a
- Pus draining from a wart.
- A fever.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to
contact your doctor if:
- Your child does not get
better as expected.
adapted under license by Slm. This care instruction is for use with your
licensed healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical
condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional.
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