What IS That?

Updated on May 27, 2008
K.S. asks from Pewaukee, WI
30 answers

The other night, while giving my daughter a shower, I noticed a pimple-like growith on her heel. It does not bother her in any way, no pain if I touch it or anything, and it does not cause issues with wearing shoes. It feels rather hard to the touch and looks like it has a "whitehead" on it. The skin does not appear to be inflamed around it and there is just the one bump on the back of her heel. My husband thinks we should let a Dr. look at it. I think for a $30 co-pay and time off of work we don't need to take her in at this point. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas of what it could be or if I am being insensitive to the situation by not wanting to rush her in to see a Dr.? Your comments are appreciated!

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S.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi K.,
Have you tried applying a hot, wet wash cloth to the area? This can draw out the "gunk" for lack of a better word. Good luck!

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T.B.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

My now 5 year old daughter had several of these from birth, up until about age 3. The doc said it was a calcium deposit, like a little ball of calcium and will work it's way out. One day it's there and the next day it's gone. They never bothered my daughter either. I'd say that since it isn't bothering her that you probably don't need to take her in to the doctor yet. If it gets really red or inflammed then it might be worth it to rule out an infection.

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S.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

well, K., from what you described, I would say "welcome to the interesting, though harmless, world of warts!" My 16 year old has been battling them for about a year now, one comes, we zap it and another pops its head. i would suggest trying an OTC med. for them first. They really do the trick if you are consistent. And very easy to use. We did the liquid drops, then use the wart bandaids. I have also heard that if you put duct tape over (suffocate them)--the wart! for several days, it does the same thing. Good luck!

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G.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

Does your office have a nurse's line where you could call and ask for an opinion?

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C.M.

answers from Bismarck on

Sounds like a wart--a home remedy that our doctor recommended is the duct tape treatment. Apply and keep on strips of duct tape (the silver stuff) for 7-10 days. It sounds weird, but is painless and it works. Our son's wart started disappearing almost immediately. Here is one article supporting its use:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/14/health/main5255...

Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Wausau on

Good Morning K.,

Your daughter may have gotten a sliver or something similar in the heal of her foot and her body is dealing with it. Thus the "whitehead and hard feel. You can try a foot soak in Epsom Salt 2 to 3 times per day. Even if it is not a sliver or thorn of some sort this should draw what ever it is out.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions please let me know. I would be happy to help.

Blessings To you
S. Blevons
Langlade Co. WI.
www.lhdoula-service.com.

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S.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

If it is on the bottom of the foot and the heel it could be a wart especially if it feels hard to the touch. You can get wart ointment at the pharmacy but obviously read the label. I had a wart when I was in grade school. It took a long time for it to go away but it eventually did and I havent had one since. Hope this helps

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B.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi K.-
I'll agree- most likely a wart. Most kids that get them- do outgrow them if that helps- if you treat them.
We used compound w in small amounts- without going deep on one of our twins toes. It's gone and hasn't come back.
Would have tried the duct tape- does work- but bad position and she doesn't tolerate weird feelings like tape on her well.
Staph- ?? -- might be but you'd start to see redness too most likely and getting worse with time- if yes- don't wait.
Might also be a ganglion cyst. They are filled with a Karo syrupy type fluid- usually no pain- progress slowly over time. Many go years without addressing them. They are attached by a short pedicle and dont' really move around much because of it and are usually hard in feeling. The whitehead isn't typical so the wart seems more likely.
Good luck
About me- Med. prof, wellness coach, married with twin almost 7 yo girls.
B. Jarmoluk
[email protected]____.com

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J.R.

answers from Eau Claire on

hi, it sounds like a wart to me. nothing to be scared about, they acually are very common. you could look up warts on www.webmd.com if it still bothers you then take her to the dr. they can do amny thing for them(which will cost more money) if you do take her to a dr take her to a dermotoligist first, instead of her dr, other wise that will cost you 2 visits! hope this helps. J.

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L.H.

answers from Milwaukee on

It sounds like a wart. You can have it removed by a dr. or use over the counter medication and slowly scrape or dig it out. My oldest daughter tried to have them burned by the Dr. but they left scars on he hands. The Dr. said it shouldn't burn her but it did. She actually hit the Dr. becasue it hurt her. She has highly sensitive skin and eczema. When my youngest got them I decided to do the home remedy just in case.

A.H.

answers from Omaha on

Sounds like a plantars wart. You can get them from pools or showers. Places that are moist.

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B.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

I would keep an eye on it and when you get a chance take her in. If it is a plantar's wart they get very hard and stubborn to remove the longer they are untouched.

I would be concerned with the staph infection like the other poster said too I've heard where it starts out almost nothing and ends up pretty big.

Otherwise I juse to get what we called water bumps on my hands and feet as a child have no idea why but haven't had the problem in years and if I would pop the bump water/ clear fluid would come out no pus or blood.

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T.N.

answers from Minneapolis on

K., go to www.webmd.com (or elsewhere online) and search for some pictures of plantars warts and see if they look familiar. I bet that is what it is.

K.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi K.,

I am with Kellie, sounds like a wart (there are many easy at home treatments). If you want to call your doc (or speak with their nurse) and ask for a medication recomendation you can do that. Otherwise there is this new (well sort of new) in-home one-step freeze off wart remover.

Does the whitehead kind of look like little bumps/fingers? That is usually a trademark of warts. Best of luck!

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E.T.

answers from Rochester on

You might want to get it checked. I was just reading an article about staph infections and it said many times the infection starts out looking like a pimple. They typically don't involve any pain at first. I'd say better safe than sorry!

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A.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Call the nurse line. Especially if this has been going on for awhile. Hopefully you'll get someone who knows what they are talking about.

Also, remember that Urgent Care is open until 8pm everyday at most clinics, and is the same as an office visit. No time off work then. It's not flu season, so it's not too bad. (We had to go last week.)

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds like it could be molluscum contagiosum (sounds like something from Harry Potter, doesn't it?). Anyway, a very contagious but most benign virus. HOWEVER...If you pediatrician says to let it go away on its own or to put duct tape on it...Ignore that ped. and go to a dermatologist. The molluscum's life cycle can be up to two year. It can turn into an outbreak and if severe enough, can leave scars.

Funny thing about this, is it was never something I heard of as a child or young adult but I guess its prevelance now is amazing...Something like 80% of kids going into kindergarten have had it.

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M.M.

answers from Milwaukee on

I'll have to agree with the other moms. It's probably a wart. We are right now dealing with one on my daughters foot and thats exactly what it started out like with her. just a little hard pimple after a few months it grew much bigger and is now spreading. It's not pretty but it doesnt really bother her. We are using a wart medication and then we file it every night. The doctor said it will take awhile to do it that way but doing anything more aggressive can be quite painful and affect their walking (my daughter has it right under her heel). The first advice we got was just to run a foot file over it from time to time. This would probably make it get bigger and spread but it will also activate the bodies immune system and it will start to fight it off. It will take a long time but it's one of those things that are better if the body can take care of it by itself.

K.L.

answers from Milwaukee on

it sounds like it might be wart. planters warts are usually on the feet!!!

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L.R.

answers from La Crosse on

My daughter had something like that on her leg a couple of years ago and it turned out to be a staph infection...yuck! Of course I was freaked out because of all we hear about staph, so I would get it checked out just to be safe. My daughter's fine now, and it's probably not what your daughter has, but I think I'd rather know what it is than not.

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S.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

with it being hard to the touch with a white head on it. sounds like a wart to me. i used to get them a ton when i was young, between 6-10.
you could maybe plug in warts in mayoclinic.com or google it & compare any pictures that show up.
when i was young, my mom would take me to have them taken off with radiation. not sure if they do that or not. pretty painless. i have had liquid nitrogen to have a birthmark removed & that was the most painful thing i've ever gone through. felt like knifes were being stuck in me and swirled around...so i dont recommend that treatment.
maybe an otc treatment would be best. i would research these. good luck.

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P.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

My guess, from your description, is maybe it's a planters wart. Planters warts I believe grow mainly on the hands/feet. I'd give it a gentle squeeze and see if I can get anything out...if not,...then, I'd probably keep a eye on it and if it gets bothersome for her, get her in. Or, I'd have it checked at her next apt. Sometimes warts on the feet can become bothersome with shoes when they become larger. My brother had a bunch when he was about 7 and had them all frozen off with a relatively painless effort.

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L.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds like a plantar's wart - and yes - you probably do want to take her in to have them remove it if it is. It's faster to have them "burn" it off (with liquid nitrogen) than to use the solvents that are available via Walgreen's.

My middle daughter used to get them primarily on her hands - though sometimes on her feet. They're pretty common in kids, and are called plantars warts because they are typically found on the plantar surfaces - the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet. They are viruses, and have roots - so when they are removed, you want to make sure to remove them fully - it generally takes a couple of liquid nitrogen applications before they're fully removed if they are particularly stubborn - but they can be done as a nurse visit, which often times don't require a full copay after that first visit. Check with your doctor's office and insurance company.

A.H.

answers from Des Moines on

I would take her in to the doctor and have it checked out to make sure it isnt a wart. i had the same thing on the bottom of my foot, i let it go for almost a year until it started to hurt. because i had let it go for so long, it took almost another year to cure/get rid of it. i had to go to a podiatrist and all sorts of stuff. I even had to have foot surgery to get it removed because i had let it go for so long, the virus had dgone so deep into the tissue. take her to the Dr, have it checked out. better to be safe than sorry.

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N.B.

answers from Duluth on

My daughter starting getting planters warts on her feet about that age and that is what they looked at. I would probably take her in to the DR and have him freeze it off before it gets to big. Then it hurts to have it done. Once she has one she might get more from time to time. Good luck
N.

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M.J.

answers from Omaha on

Without seeing it and without a medical degree, I'm not certain, but it sounds like it might be a wart. I think it is worth a visit to the doctor. If it is a wart, it can be removed quickly and safely. Warts are caussed by a virus and can spread. The doctor has the most effective means of removal if that is what you are seeing. Good luck! Liz

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S.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

If it doesn't sound serious, you might even get by with taking her to Minute Clinic or a similar place. The cost is usually cheaper than a doctor's visit, and they have evening hours to spare you the time off work. Good luck!

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C.T.

answers from Davenport on

KISS: I agree with many on the line about being a wart, but without knowing more, I woul dnot stake a claim to this Dx. However, your church may have a visiting nurse which you could get free advice on. If it does turn out to be a wart, there are OTC applications that you can purchase to remove it right at home without a visit to the MD.

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R.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hello there, I'm not for sure what it is but wanted to let you know that I have little bumps like that all over my heel. They have never hurt, I do think it's kind of weird, but I'm not concerned about them at all. Feel free to ask more questions about mine if you'd like. I'm 30 and have had them for quite some time. If you do take her to the doctor let me know what you find out but I really think if they are the same thing they are nothing. Good luck.
R.
P.S. Mine are definately not warts.

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J.G.

answers from Omaha on

My son had the same thing happen to him but his turned out to be a piece of glass in his foot. I had to pop it and and squeeze to puss and the piece of glass out of it. I had to have someone help hold him. It could be that or a panters wart which is a hard white bump.

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