About half of all children get warts during childhood. Warts are caused by viruses, not by playing with toads!! Without treatment, warts can last from 2 to 3 years. With treatment they can be cleared up in 2 or 3 months. Try to treat warts when there are just 1 or 2 of them and before they spread. Here's what you can do to help:
- First: Buy an acid at your pharmacy for killing warts. You won't need a prescription. Apply it once a day to the top of the wart. Once the acid dries, cover the wart with duct tape. This will make it work faster. The acid will turn the wart’s surface into dead skin.
- Second: Every evening, take off the duct tape and apply new acid. Then apply new duct tape.
- Third: Every 3 or 4 days, remove the dead wart by paring off a thin layer with a razor blade. If that procedure causes you major anxiety, file it down with an emery board instead.
- Fourth: Discourage your child from picking at the warts because that will cause them to spread. By all means, don’t let him chew on the wart because he may end up with warts on his lips and face. If necessary, keep the wart covered all the time with duct tape.
- Finally: Multiple warts usually need to be treated by a dermatologist. Unfortunately, that can be painful. In fact, since warts are harmless, painless and have a natural tendency to heal and disappear, many families rightly elect to let them run their course if they haven't responded to home treatment. But stay hopeful. The duct tape and acid approach has an 80% cure rate.
If you aren’t seeing improvement in 8 weeks or you have other questions about warts, call your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 11/1/2003
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.