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Why Are Warts More Common in Children Than Adults?

Kids get sick more frequently than adults. From the seasonal illnesses that circulate in daycare facilities and schools to their proclivity for putting their hands in their mouths, their little immune systems have tall tasks ahead of them. 

It’s not just about the cold and flu, either. As it turns out, kids’ bodies are more likely to go down from a number of health conditions, and that includes warts

In fact, the majority of wart patients we see here at Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist are kids. That’s part of why we offer dedicated children’s foot care services at our offices in Homer Glen and New Lenox, Illinois. Christopher Vittori, DPM, and Ameet Thakrar, DPM, are here to help children get the treatment they need to eliminate warts and prevent future ones.

That doesn’t explain why warts are more common in kids, though. So let’s take a closer look. 

Why warts thrive in kids

Warts are caused by a virus. Exposure to the virus doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll get a wart. As with other viruses, like the flu or COVID-19, it all depends on your immune system and its ability to fend off the infection.

In kids, this is much harder. That’s because their immune systems are still developing. When they’re first born, their immune system is in its fledgling stages. As they get older, it grows, giving them an increasingly better defense against things like illnesses and warts. 

Still, though, it means that kids and teens are more likely than adults to get a wart after being exposed to the virus that causes it. 

Two extra factors make warts especially common in younger populations. First, consider that kids and teens are more likely to be in damp environments — like pools and locker rooms — where the wart virus can thrive. They’re also more likely to share items like towels and socks.

Secondly, they might be a little more carefree (or careless) about keeping their shoes on, leading to nicks and scrapes on their feet. Those create pathways for the wart virus to enter their feet and take hold.

Ultimately, a lot of factors come together to make warts more common in kids. The good news? If your child or teen does develop a wart, you can do something about it. 

Treating warts in young feet

If the wart isn’t bothering your child, monitor it. Many warts heal on their own.

If it’s causing them pain or embarrassment, though, pay us a visit. At our offices, Dr. Thakrar and Dr. Vittori offer targeted treatments like prescription-strength salicylic acid or cryotherapy. We tailor the wart removal treatment to your child, their feet, and their history of warts. 

Preventing warts 

Your child or teen can do a few things to lessen the likelihood that they’ll develop warts, whether they’ve already had them or not. A few simple things they can do: 

To get care for warts whenever they affect your teen or child’s feet, call Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist or schedule an appointment online today. 

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