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Many warts in children resolve on their own


As many of half of the warts in children ages 4 to 12 will resolve without treatment, a recent study indicates.


As many of half of the warts in children ages 4 to 12 will resolve without treatment, a recent study indicates.

Researchers from Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands, studied the hands and feet of 1,099 children and found that 33 percent of participants had cutaneous warts, according to the study. During follow-up, 38 percent of the children with warts at baseline had the warts treated. Eighteen percent used over-the-counter (OTC) treatments only, 15 percent were treated by a family physician only and 5 percent used both OTC and physician treatments.

If the warts measured at least 1 cm in diameter, children were more likely to pursue treatment (odds ratio = 3.2; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.9-5.3), researchers noted. This was especially true when parents reported that their child’s warts caused inconvenience (odds ratio = 38; 95 percent CI, 16-90).

At one year, the complete resolution rate was 52 per 100 person-years at risk. For each year of age decrease, the likelihood of resolution increased by about 10 percent.

“Patients and family physicians should weigh the benign natural course, the adverse effects of treatments, and the costs on the one hand, and the effectiveness of treatments and the risk of spreading untreated warts on the other,” study authors concluded. “Future research needs to more precisely establish the time to resolution of warts and identify subgroups of patients with relatively low natural resolution rates and high treatment response rates.”

The findings were published in the September/October issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

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