Several years ago a five year old boy came to my office with a large plantar wart on the bottom of his foot. Warts are a very common complaint in our podiatry office. They are caused by a virus and are extremely contagious. These warts are particularly frequent in children during summer and fall after a barefoot walk in the pool, on a beach or on grass.

Well, this young boy requested something for which I have never been asked before or since. You see, when we treat plantar warts, we usually numb the wart area and then remove the wart. (The wart actually comes out like a small seed.) The question this young boy asked me is if he could take his wart with him for ‘show and tell’ at school. After consulting with his mother, who agreed, we put his wart in a small bottle with alcohol and gave it to him.

When he came in for his redressing a few days later, his mother unfolded to me the horror story of the bottled wart.

Yes, he did take the wart to school, completely “grossing out” the teacher and his classmates, telling them this blood and guts story that sounded more like open heart surgery than a podiatry office procedure. He then proceeded, bottle in hand, to chase the girls around the classroom threatening to douse them with its contents so that they too would have to have “open heart wart surgery”.

This was several years ago and as I read the newspapers these days I keep expecting to see his name as one who has been expelled from high school in the zero tolerance crackdown.

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