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Waiting may be most effective treatment for warts
HOUSTON -- Although warts can be a cosmetic nuisance for children and their parents, a little restraint often can lead to their disappearance.
"A wart is simply a raised, firm skin lesion caused by a common virus," said Dr. Jan Drutz, chief of the Residents' Primary Care Group Clinic at Texas Children's Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. "In most cases, warts resolve spontaneously after several months. Usually, the ones that require the most intervention are plantar warts on the feet that make standing uncomfortable."
Drutz offered the following facts about warts:
* Warts can occur anywhere on the body, but are most commonly seen on the extremities, hands and feet.
* Recent studies show that 85 percent of warts will disappear within three years without treatment.
* If a parent chooses to treat a child's wart, it is not always necessary to see a physician. An over-the-counter product containing lactic acid and salicylic acid may be used.
* One self-help measure is to simply tape the wart with duct tape for extended periods of time. Occlusion of the wart with the tape leads to maceration and eventual disappearance.
For more information about Texas Children's Hospital, visit www.texaschildrenshospital.org.
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