When it comes to children’s health, there are more than a few nasties hiding out there waiting to be experienced.
Most of the time, horror stories of these conditions are shared around, along with the many hassles of treating them. But there are a few that we think could be talked about more, particularly when it comes to quick diagnosis and treatment. Here are six gross, but common, conditions that all parents should be looking out for in their kids.
In the past warts were blamed on frogs, or perhaps being dirty (as they’re quite common in kids), but now we know they’re the result of the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 different subtypes of the virus, which can cause warts in various locations all over the body.
Common warts are small, rough, and the same colour as the skin, usually showing up on the fingers, hands, knees and elbows. Flat warts, another variety, show up on the face and can increase rapidly. Then there are plantar warts, which show up on the soles of the feet and can cause pain while walking.
How to Get Rid Of Them
Getting rid of warts usually involves burning or freezing, so it can be quite painful and is really only worth looking into if the warts are really bothering your child. Warts often disappear on their own within a few years. If they’re causing pain, such as plantar warts, they can be removed slowly one layer at a time with wart removal pads and creams.
2. Molluscum Contagiosum
Although it looks pretty gross, molluscum contagiosum is a common skin infection in children under 10. It is caused by a poxvirus that is found not just on the skin, but also on the clothing, towels, shower taps and some moist surfaces. Children are infected, and then the molluscum contagiosum rash shows up around 2-7 weeks later. There’s no way to avoid catching molluscum contagiosum, but the good news is that they can only get it once.
Initial symptoms are one or two raised bumps not much bigger than a pencil eraser and with a pearly look about them. Sometimes they itch, but often they’re simply not felt at all. These can appear anywhere on the body, although they usually stay away from the palms and foot soles.
Getting Rid Of Them
Given enough time, the body will eventually get rid of the molluscum contagiosum by itself. The only problem is that while your child has it, they are contagious, and the infection can sometimes linger for as much as one year. There are a few different treatment options, but they depend on the age of your child, and the location of the rash.
Ringworm might have worm in the name, but it’s actually a fungus, also known as tinea. It can show up anywhere on the body, and it’s usually contracted from animals. Kids can get it from kittens and puppies, but also hamsters, guinea pigs and farm animals. The fungus then gets spread among communities through the sharing of clothing, hair brushes, or even through close contact. Ringworm does best in warm, moist environments.
The first sign you’ll see of ringworm is ring-shaped rashes, starting at just a few centimetres in size. They have scaly, raised edges, and they grow bigger as they get more established. On the body it’s quite obvious, but on the scalp it might appear as just red, scaly bald patches.
Getting Rid Of It
When kids get small outbreaks of ringworm, an over-the-counter anti fungal cream should clear it up. But you should talk to your doctor if the ringworm is on the scalp, or if your child has more than a few rings. If the ringworm coincides with a new pet, make sure you worm them and clean any bedding and clothing with hot water that the animal has been in contact with.