Warts are skin infections caused by viruses of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) family. Warts can appear on any part of the body, and for the most part, are usually painless. However, warts affecting the soles of the feet (plantar warts), are usually painful, because of the pressure that is placed on the foot. Children (and adults too, for that matter) complain that they feel as though they are walking on a small stone.
Warts are contagious! While simply touching a wart once or twice doesn’t guarantee a spread to other parts of the body, picking or scratching at it makes it much easier for the virus to spread.
There are different ways to remove a wart from the foot:
1. Salicylic Acid over the counter (OTC) preparations or stronger prescription strength preparations.
2. Cryosurgery (freezing of the warts with use of liquid nitrogen).
3. Surgical excision (for very stubborn cases).
Most children respond well to OTC or stronger medications, and do not need cryosurgery or surgical excision.
Intoeing is a condition when a child’s toes point inward when walking. Intoeing is a result of: a “twisting” of one of the leg bones (tibia) or a weakness of leg muscles.
Most times, a child will “outgrow” this condition, and therefore, no treatment is necessary. However, more severe require some form of treatment. It is best if this condition is recognized sooner rather than later. In fact, optimal treatment occurs (around 7-8 months old) before the child starts to walk.
Treatment consists of weekly serial casting of the feet and legs. Duration of treatment varies dependent on the severity of the condition.
As the child is walking, a special type of orthotic (gait plate) is used for treatment.
It is fairly rare that a child will require surgery for this condition.
Flatfoot is a partial or total collapse of the arch. There are two types of flatfoot: Asymptomatic (without symptoms or pain) and Symptomatic.
Pain, tenderness or cramping in the foot or leg
Difficulty wearing shoes
Inability to keep up with other children when participating in physical activities
Changes in walking
Outward shifting of the heel
Non surgical treatments for flatfoot include:
Orthotic Devices: Specially made inserts that fit inside the shoe to support the architecture of the foot and ankle, while improving functionality.
Shoes: Proper supportive shoes are essential. A podiatrist or pedorthist will be able to assist you with a proper shoe for your child.
Physical Therapy: Stretching exercises may provide reduction in pain and relief in some cases of flatfoot.