The human papillomavirus, or HPV, causes hard, flat growths called plantar warts that occur on the soles of the feet. They are generally not contagious and disappear without intervention within 2 years, according to MedlinePlus. Plantar warts on children are even more likely to go away on their own, usually within 6 months, according to DermNet NZ. However, children may benefit from treatment if they have painful, uncomfortable or multiplying plantar warts.
Replace your child's shoes with looser footwear that keeps her feet dry. Moisture and pressure tend to irritate plantar warts and encourage them to spread. Change your child's shoes and socks every day.
Wash your child's feet regularly to keep them clean, and dry them thoroughly afterwards. Wash your hands also each time they come in contact with your child's plantar warts. Instruct your child not to touch or pick at his plantar warts, because both practices can cause the warts to spread.
Apply an over-the-counter product containing salicylic acid or a freezing solution to your child's plantar warts to help gradually peel off the wart's outer layer of skin over several weeks. Follow the product's application instructions, which typically suggest applying the product once or twice daily. Rub your child's warts gently with an emery board or pumice stone between treatments to remove dead skin.
Cut wart-sized pieces of duct tape and cover individual plantar warts on your child's foot with one piece of duct tape for at least 6 days, replacing displaced duct tape with new pieces, if necessary. Remove the duct tape at the end of the period, soak the uncovered warts in warm water and rub your child's warts gently with a pumice stone or emery board to remove dead skin. Repeat the process for 6 more days, or as many times as necessary, for up to two months.
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The British Association of Dermatologists states that you can treat warts with a freezing solution and a salicylic acid product at the same time, and MayoClinic.com reports you can combine duct tape treatment with products containing salicylic acid. In fact, duct tape is a common treatment for children, particularly those who feel other treatments are too frightening or painful, according to MayoClinic.com.
Although warts often go away without intervention, especially in children, consult a trained health care professional if home treatment fails or if your child's warts remain for longer than 2 years.
Stop treatment immediately if your child experiences persistent soreness where plantar warts are located, and consult a qualified health care professional for assistance. Resume treatment if the soreness goes away, but stop treatment again and consult a qualified health care professional for other treatment options if soreness returns.
The British Association of Dermatologists advises using caution when removing outer layers of skin on your child's plantar warts. If you damage nearby healthy skin, the warts could spread.
Never attempt to burn or cut off your child's plantar warts, according to the British Association of Dermatologists. Incorrect removal can cause further infection and scars.