Warts in children – the virus is to blame

Warts in children

Now many people know that warts in children are caused by papillomavirus infection. However, earlier people believed that this disease was caused by contact with frogs (therefore, children were forbidden to touch them). How are warts related to HPV? Should the parents be worried?

Warts caused by infection

Warts are the benign epidermal growths caused by the human papillomavirus. The latter enters the body through the skin and mucous membranes damage (scratches and bruises) by contacting the basal cells of the epithelium. There are over 150 types of this virus in the world. Children, teenagers, and young people are especially susceptible to this infection (incidence among them reaches 10%).

The nature of manifestation depends both on the type of strain and on the place of its localization. Human papillomavirus type 2, 4 and 7 are associated with the development of common warts, type 1, 4 — palmar warts, while the types 1, 2, 6, 10, 11, 16, 18, 31, 32, 33 and 34 lead to the development of genital formations. In this, subtypes 16, 18, and 31 are oncogenic, and in most cases, they cause invasive genital cancer.

Mainly, warts consisting of small flesh-colored papules transform into semicircular discrete tumors of a grey-brown color with a rough surface. Some of them include black spots, which represent nothing more than thrombosed capillaries. Generally, the growths are located on the palms, fingers, elbows, and soles.

Human papillomavirus in children

According to statistics, about 60% of younger schoolchildren are infected with human papillomavirus. However, papillomatosis doesn’t develop in everyone. Many patients remain hidden carriers of infection, becoming a source of infection for healthy children (and not only through direct contact, i.e., hugs or handshake). Transmission through the common user items was also recorded. If the child is already infected, he/she can spread the infection over the skin by scratching the growths. The positive thing is that over 70% of children’s warts regress on their own within a couple of years.

Papules in children rarely pose a health hazard. After all, oncogenic strains of human papillomavirus are sexually transmitted (except for their transmission from the mother to the baby during delivery). Babies infected in this way are often diagnosed with the neoplasms in respiratory ways (laryngeal papilloma).

Children and teenagers often have localized flat warts that don’t go beyond the area of skin injury and reach 3 mm. They are usually placed linearly or in groups, as infection occurs due to the scratching in the forehead, palms, chin and neck. This type of growth doesn’t show any symptoms and is very difficult to treat. The difficulty of therapy is that they are situated in visible areas, which means that aggressive methods of treatment with the possibility of scarring will not fit.

Poor skin condition — one of the factors of infection

The fact that not all infected persons get sick underlines the importance of immunity in this matter. Infection is inevitable if the body is weakened, which is often observed in childhood and adolescence. Depression of immunity is caused by frequent colds, for example, during adaptation to kindergarten or school, hormonal failures in adolescence, stress, and fatigue during studying (tests, exams, pressing from adults, etc.)

Damaged skin (or the one prone to inflammations) becomes a powerful provoking factor. In this case, infection overcomes a protective barrier more easily. The presence of intertrigo, miliaria, and weeping eczema can lead to such unfortunate results as dermatitis, teenage acne, and various rashes.

Treatment of virus in children

Treatment of virus in children Papillomavirus infection, as well as many other chronic diseases with the long-term presence of the virus in the human body, provokes immunodeficiency. Therefore, the treatment of the disease has a complex character. In addition to antiviral treatment, patients should take immunocorrecting drugs. You have to use pathogenic agents (for example, pre- and probiotics, antioxidants, etc.) However, even with timely and adequate treatment, ¼ of patients face a relapse. The fight against HPV has several directions. Firstly, papillomatous foci must be destroyed. Secondly, you should stimulate the immune system. Thirdly, you have to eliminate the factors contributing to relapse. Fourthly, treat the concomitant diseases actively so that the skin can perform its protective function.

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