Bumps on a Child's Foot Pads

Young girl in front hallway fixing shoe and smiling
Shoes that irritate the feet can cause bumps on the foot pads. (Image: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images)

When your child breaks out in any kind of bumps, you probably tell her not to touch them, even if they itch. Bumps on the foot pads present a problem because you generally can't tell your child to stop walking altogether. Instead, treatment depends on the cause and severity of the bumps.

Identification

The bumps on your child's foot pads are probably blisters, calluses, corns or bug bites, all of which can be painful. A blister is a raised bump containing a clear liquid. If you push down on the blister, you probably can feel the liquid inside. A blister can develop into a callus, which is a thick area of skin on the foot pad, generally located on the ball of the foot. If your child has a hard, gray bump outlined by a yellow ring, he has a corn. An itchy, swollen bump, especially one that is red, is probably a bug bite. The bite may burn, tingle or feel a little numb.

Causes

Shoes that are too narrow, too short or rub against the foot cause blisters, calluses and corns. The initial rubbing and pressure cause a blister. When that rubbing and pressure persist over time, the blister turns into a callus. When the shoes rub around the toe area, a corn develops. Flea and tick bites cause several small, red bumps. Mosquitoes also might attack one location, such as a child's foot pad, leaving a number of swollen, itchy bumps that become larger when scratched. Spiders might cause fewer, larger bumps on the foot pads.

Treatment

Pressure on the foot pads only irritates the bumps, so have your child stay off her feet as much as possible. Clean and bandage a blister until it disappears. You can take a more aggressive approach with a callus. Soak the callus in warm, soapy water for 10 minutes, then scrub the callus with a pumice stone to remove the dead skin, according to the website KidsHealth. Clean a corn with soap and warm water, and let it air dry. Cover the corn with a donut-shaped bandage pad.

Prevention

You can prevent blisters, calluses and corns by ensuring that your child wears the proper shoes. Take your child shopping in the afternoon, when his feet are likely to be at their largest from swelling. Have a store employee measure your child's feet and help you find the right fit. If your child has especially narrow or wide feet, you might have to special-order his size. Encourage your child to wear different shoes on different days; repeated rubbing from one shoe might cause problems. Make your child wear socks and shoes when he plays outside to prevent insect bites.

Warnings

Monitor the bumps for signs of infection. If you notice a colored discharge or a foul smell, contact your doctor. Corns that don't heal require a podiatrist's treatment. Unless your child has an allergic reaction, most insect bites are harmless; however, black widow bites and some brown recluse spider bites are very dangerous. In some children, a brown recluse spider bite cause can cause skin damage. If you notice swelling and skin changes, contact your doctor. You can recognize a black widow bite by the accompanying painful cramps all over the body. Your child also might have nausea, vomiting, chills, fever and headache. If you suspect a black widow bite, seek immediate emergency care.

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