Paediatric & Adolescent Skin Diseases

What are viral warts?

Viral warts are growths on the skin. They are a due to the human papilloma virus. These growths are harmless but they can grow on any part of the body. Common sites include the hands and feet, face and limbs.


Wart often contain pin-point blood vessels within them, which is helpful in distinguishing them from a corn.

Are viral warts contagious?

Yes, viral warts are contagious and they spread through direct contact with the virus. It can spread from one part of the body to another and it is best to avoid touching the other unaffected areas with the virus affected area.


You may eventually develop immunity to the virus and the virus can clear spontaneously, especially in younger children. This is less frequent in older children and adults

How are viral warts treated?

There are a number of ways to treat the viral wart. Most methods destroy the upper layer of the skin where the virus is growing.


1. Topical salicylic acid preparations. These help to soften and peel the overlying skin.


2. Cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen treatment). In cryotherapy, the wart is treated with the application of the liquid nitrogen to the affected area. This causes a localized frost bite injury and the skin may blister and crust after the treatment. The wart will gradually reduce in size with each treatment. A number of weekly or fortnightly treatments may be required.


3. Surgical ablation. The warts can be removed with laser ablation or electrocautery. This treatment is fastest way to clear the virus but leaves a wound which may take 1 to 2 months to recover. There is also a risk of recurrence of the virus.


4. Others – Topical imiquimod & 5-fluorouracil

With all treatments, there is a risk that the wart fails to clear or it will recur. Sometimes, new warts can appear while existing warts are clearing. If the wart recurs, it can be re-treated or a different treatment may be employed.


Your dermatologist will discuss the various treatment options and suggest the most suitable treatment for you.

What is Mollusum Contagiousum?

Molluscum contagiosum is a common infection caused by a virus.  It presents with small whitish or reddish papules on the skin and there may be a central umbilicated depression on top. These can occur on any part of the body and these are commonly found on the face and trunk and upper limbs. It is seen more commonly in younger children, though it can also occur in older children and in adults.

Is molluscum contagiousum contagious?

Mollusum contagiosum is contagious and spreads through body to body contact. It can also spread through the sharing of towels and clothes. It is preferable to avoid swimming to reduce the spread of the infection.

What causes mollscum contagiousum?

This is caused by a pox virus. Your body will usually develop natural immunity against the virus, but this may take over 1 to 3 years to happen.

How is this treated?

There are a few ways to treat the molluscum.  These include prick and express to squeeze out the virus, and liquid nitrogen treatment. Other treatments include application of creams like imiquimod and tretinoin cream. Sometimes, electrosrugical ablation  may  be used.

What is impetigo?

Impetigo is due to a bacterial infection of the skin. The common bacteria causing impetigo includes the Staphylococcal and Streptococcal bacteria.


The bacteria often enter the skin when there is a break or crack in the skin.


Individuals with poor barrier function or impaired skin immunity are more prone to the infection. Individuals with poor hygiene and those with atopic eczema are more susceptible to the infection.

How does impetigo present?

Impetigo appears as painful sores and blisters on the skin, with overlying yellow or golden crusts. They can appear on any part of the body, although the face and upper limbs are more commonly affected.  They can sometimes spread rapidly over a few days.


Impetigo can be spread through contact with an infected individual.

How is impetigo treated?

Impetigo is treated with oral antibiotics.  Sometimes, a skin bacterial culture may be ordered to identify the organism. You should complete the course of antibiotics prescribed.


Do not share towels and avoid touching the infected areas and wash hands frequently to minimize the spread of infection.


Children should avoid going to school or nursery as impetigo is contagious and may spread to the other children. When all the lesions have dried up and no new lesions form, the risk of spread of the infection is low.



Mount Alvernia Medical Centre D

820 Thomson Road #07-61

Singapore 574623


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