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Warts of growth of skin that appear as bumps or lesions on different parts of the body. They are caused by an infection in the outer layer of the skin and may be spread through physical contact or transmission of HPV in the mouth or other areas of the body. These infections often occur around open areas of the skin including cuts and blisters and may take as long as several weeks or months to appear after exposure. They are more common for children to develop than adults, due to weaker immune systems with lower immunity to the virus. They are also more prone to develop in people with weakened immune systems, open cuts, and poor hygiene. Although they are usually harmless warts cause can discomfort, embarrassment, and concerns for those who are affected. In some cases, however, warts can cause further complications and lead to cancer.
The five different types of warts are common, plantar, flat, filiform, and periungual. One relatively common form of warts that you should look out for is oral warts, which may appear as HPV symptoms in the mouth, tongue, or throat.
Warts on the tongue, inside the mouth, and in the throat are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus – otherwise known as HPV. HPV in the mouth is commonly transmitted through oral sex and is more vulnerable to spread when there are cuts or openings that make it easier for the virus to infect the body. While warts under the tongue, inside the mouth, and in the throat may start to appear, this is not always the case as infection may be asymptomatic. Oral HPV may be dangerous as the virus can develop into oropharyngeal cancer if it is left untreated. About 40 out of 100 different strains of HPV may infect the oral areas.
There are some risks that increase the chances of developing HPV in the throat, mouth, or tongue. This includes engaging in oral sex for direct transmission, being sexually active with multiple partners, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and kissing. According to a recent study, approximately 7% of Americans between the ages of 14-69 have oral HPV and the virus is more common for men to develop than women.
Different warts may appear in varying shapes, colours, and locations. Oral warts can grow on the roof of your mouth, tongue, throat, and tonsils. They are typically smaller in size than other types of warts, they often appear in the form of a cauliflower, and can range in colour from light to dark. You can examine the following pictures to learn to identify and differentiate between warts in the mouth, throat warts, and HPV tongue warts:
Although warts do often go away on their own, it may take as long as two to four years for them to fully disappear. They may cause discomfort or embarrassment during this time, which might make you want to seek treatment.
Since most treatments contain Salicylic Acid which should not come in contact with mucous membranes, there aren’t many options to treat warts in mouth, tongue or throat at home. Boiron Thuja Occidentalis is a homeopathic medicine that comes in dissolving tablets that are inserted into the mouth and kept on the tongue until completely gone, this should be repeated 2-3 days a day. The tablets are fast-dissolving, made from the Thuja tree and each bottle contains approximately 80 pellet. This product is considered as very safe among pharmacists and so far no adverse side-effects such as drowsiness have been reported.
Dissolving tablets to be inserted in mouth
One of the only effective treatments against warts in mouth, tongue, and throat
Very easy administration
Safe to use on mucous membranes
Effectiveness has been reported by users
For those who are looking for a more natural method of relieving oral HPV symptoms that doesn’t involve medical intervention or going to the pharmacy, there are a few at-home remedies that may be worth checking out. Do keep in mind, however, that some of these remedies are designed for warts that appear on the external surface of the skin and may not be suitable for HPV warts in the throat and other sensitive areas.
Green tea is a beverage that has many different healing properties. Besides fighting cancer and improving brain function, the tea has antioxidants that are powerful in removing warts from the skin. Steep a tea bag in water for 5 minutes, let it cool and then apply it to the affected area for about 10-15 minutes. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day until the wart eventually dries out and falls off. This method should be even more effective for those who also drink the tea daily.
Using duct tape to remove warts is one of the most well-known and common do-it-yourself removal methods. Although it will not treat the virus, applying duct tape over a wart will protect the area and prevent the spread to other areas of the body. The tape should be removed every 3-6 days when the wart should be soaked with warm water while exposed, and then a new piece should be reapplied after 10 hours. By ripping the tape off you will be removing an outer layer of the wart and gradually removing it. This might not be the fastest method as it may take up to several weeks for you to notice results, and should be avoided for those with very sensitive skin as it can cause redness and bleeding.
While the method is considered effective in treating external lesions, it should not be applied to warts on the tongue or in the mouth. This is not a good method for reducing oral warts symptoms.
Having been used for thousands of years to fight infections and treat diseases, garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties that make it an effective method in treating warts. Simply peel a clove of garlic and cut it in half, then rub the open side against the wart for about one minute.
For external warts, it will be more effective if you use athletic tape to stick the garlic against your wart overnight, and then remove it the following day. It may not be possible to do this for oral warts, so try gently rubbing garlic against the wart in your mouth or on your tongue for a few minutes every day. Discontinue the process if this causes irritation.
Due to its high acidity, Apple Cider Vinegar is another common product that is used for treating warts. Simply soak a cotton ball in vinegar and apply it to the affected area. Take a bandage to stick the ball to the wart and leave it on for hours, whether you choose to keep it on overnight or up to 24 hours. Apply a new cotton ball daily until you start to see results. The wart may darken within the first couple of days and then fall off within 1 to 2 weeks as the cells in the lesion start to die. Keep in mind that Apple Cider Vinegar is highly acidic, which means that it can burn your skin. If the vinegar is too acidic then you may want to mix a little bit with water to cool it down prior to applying it to your skin.
You should not, however, stick a bandage inside of your mouth. Apple Cider Vinegar alone may be too acidic to use on warts on the tongue, inside your mouth, or in the throat. You can try adding water to dilute the vinegar and use a cotton swab to press it against your wart or swish the solution around in your mouth for several minutes.
For those who are looking to remove symptoms of HPV in the mouth without surgical intervention, there are a few do-it-yourself methods out there in the market. But depending on the type of wart that you have, how can you be sure which treatment is right for you? Keep reading to learn about the different types of treatments that are available, and whether an over-the-counter or at home-home remedy may work best for you.
For people with diabetes, make sure you speak with your doctor before you try to remove warts on your own. You may have desensitized hands or feet that you can cause injuries to by over applying a solution that may cause burning or extreme cold. The same goes for those who aren’t sure if their lesions are actually warts, as they may be mistaken for bumps that are caused by skin cancer and require medical attention. If your warts do not improve over time with treatment or cause a lot of pain then you should consult with your doctor on treating symptoms of HPV in the mouth.
You should also speak with your doctor when warts on the tongue and surrounding regions start to appear, as do-it-yourself remedies may be too intense to apply on such sensitive areas.
While the majority of over-the-counter treatments cannot be used on oral warts and many at-home remedies may be too intense to treat such sensitive areas, what should you do to diminish oral HPV symptoms when these methods work to no avail or have little effect?
Surgical intervention is an option for those who are struggling to remove oral warts. Two common treatments are cryotherapy and standard surgery. Cryotherapy involves applying liquid nitrogen to freeze off warts and standard surgery involves cutting the lesions out. Laser therapy may also be used, but it tends to be expensive, painful and can cause scarring. However, this process is very fast and effective as it can burn off warts and destroy them quickly.
If you have HPV warts in the mouth, tongue, or throat, it is important that you book an appointment with your healthcare professional and discuss your options. Oral HPV symptoms may be too sensitive to treat on your own.
There are five different types of warts including common, plantar, flat, filiform, and periungual.
Common warts can grow on the fingers, toes or anywhere around your body. They are rough and rounded and may appear grey in colour.
Plantar warts grow on the soles of the feet and are transferred in public areas where people walk barefoot such as swimming pools and showers, or by trying on an infected person’s shoes. They are typically small and bumpy and resemble pencil erasers. These warts may cause pain in the feet when standing or walking.
Flat warts are smaller and flatter lesions that develop in clusters of 20-100 on the face, thighs, and hands. They grow around cuts and may appear as yellow, brown or skin-coloured. They are normally not painful and may be spread when sharing personal items such as towels and razors or through direct contact with an infected person.
Filiform warts grow in areas around the nose, neck, chin, and mouth that are commonly spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with carriers or infected objects. They are longer and larger than other types of warts and are distinct in appearance. Although they are not typically painful, they may cause discomfort through itching, bleeding, and irritation.
The last type of warts grow around the nails on the fingers and toes and are known as periungual. While they initially appear to be small and painless, they will typically grow into larger bumps that resemble cauliflowers. Over time they may become painful and will eventually grow in clusters.
Warts inside the mouth, throat, and tongue are highly contagious. They can be spread through the transfer of saliva which typically occurs while performing oral sex and open mouth kissing, spreading HPV under the tongue. Keep in mind that the virus can be transmitted by people who have no visible symptoms, which means that many people who spread HPV may be unaware that they have it. Even if your partner doesn’t have any visible lesions but they are a carrier, it doesn’t mean that you won’t contract the virus and develop symptoms of HPV on the tongue or inside your mouth or throat. This depends on the strength of your immune system and its ability to fight the virus.
There are a few precautions that you can take to lower your chances of developing HPV in the mouth. Use condoms to practice safe sex and protect yourself from STIs, limit your number of partners if you are sexually active, get tested for STIs every few months, and avoid oral sex if you are with a partner whose sexual history you do not know. Limit your alcohol consumption and smoking as these make it easier for the virus to spread throughout your body. Avoid sharing drinks and utensils with others. Get the HPV vaccine to increase your immunity to the virus, which is available for those who are under the age of 27.
While it may be tempting to cut off a wart for fast relief, doing so may actually cause further complications. Keep in mind that a wart is merely a visible symptom of a virus or infection of the skin, which is caused by a greater issue – the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
Cutting off a wart is not an effective method in getting rid of oral HPV as it will not destroy the problem – your immune system must fight against it. It will, however, create an opening of the skin that may become vulnerable to deeper infections. It is important to practice good hygiene to keep the area clean and dry to allow it to heal with time. Cutting it open may cause pain, bleeding, swelling, and discomfort. It will also make the wart highly likely to grow back. If you cut it off then touch another part of the skin, then you may cause new lesions to grow in previously unaffected areas of the body.
Great news – you’ve successfully removed your wart and it’s gone. Now, should you be concerned about potential regrowth? Can you get warts in your mouth after you’ve already removed them?
Keep in mind that warts are caused by a virus that cannot currently be treated, which means that they can, indeed, grow back. Even with surgical removal, it is possible for lesions to reappear when they are caused by HPV. This is because you are destroying a symptom of the virus rather than defeating HPV itself.
There are, however, precautions that you can take to lower the chances of regrowth. Avoid cutting off warts yourself as doing so will not target the root and will only make it more susceptible to infection and likely to grow back. In the case of oral HPV warts, it is important to practice good hygiene in the mouth by regularly using mouthwash and flossing your teeth. Avoid sharing personal items with others such as towels and toothbrushes. Practice safe sex and limit skin-to-skin contact with those who are infected.
Now that you know that regrowth is possible, it’s important to be conscious of aftercare after removing a wart. After applying or receiving treatment, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and avoid contact with the affected area or other parts of the body to minimize the chances of spreading the infection. Cover any cuts or openings of the skin with a band-aid to prevent the area from being infected.
If a previously removed wart grows back then you may want to contact your doctor or a dermatologist for further treatment. Make sure you monitor activity after removal. Do not pick at the area and refrain from touching it as much as possible. Gargle with salt water and honey to soothe your throat if it feels irritated.
Take steps to improve your immune system and help your body to battle the virus. You can do this by following a healthy diet, reducing alcohol consumption and smoking, staying hydrated, regular exercise, good hygiene, and reducing stress.
Due to their similar physical characteristics, many people tend to confuse warts with skin tags. Although the two do look quite similar, they are quite different in nature.
Warts are caused by infections in the outer layer of the skin and typically appear as raised bumps. They are a result of HPV and are highly contagious as they can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact or by sharing personal items with others who are infected. Different types of warts may take on unique forms and appear in clusters or by themselves.
Skin tags are benign growths of skin that produce raised bumps. They are small and soft, and they typically occur in areas around the armpits, groin, breasts, neck, and eyelids. These can be caused by a variety of different reasons including HPV, insulin resistance, pregnancy hormones and weight gain, and genetics. Unlike warts, skin tags are not contagious and they will not become cancerous. The only cause for concern is if they start to itch, bleed, or change in colour. In this case, contact your doctor.
Read this article on how to tell the difference between genital warts and skin tags.
While warts on the tongue, in the throat, and inside the mouth can occur, these are certainly not the only locations where warts can show up. They often grow on other parts of the body such as the hands, feet, arms, legs, and around the fingernails and toenails. Warts can also appear on the face around the nose, eyes, and mouth, and can grow individually or in clusters of as many as 20-100 lesions. It depends on the types of warts and which areas of the body are infected.
As it was already examined above, human papilloma virus (HPV), is indeed one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States. Nowadays, it has been proven that from more than 100 types of HPV currently known, around 40 types are transmitted through direct sexual contact to mouth, throat, along with the genital areas. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, oral sex is one of the most common ways through which oral HPV can be transmitted. Additionally, some American scientists claim that HPVs can easily infect head-and-neck areas with the oral and sinus cavities, the conjunctiva of the eyes, the ear canals, the oropharynx, and the tonsils, being transmitted through kissing. Statistically speaking, men are less affected by oral HPV than women. Age is also a factor: the older people get, the more common is the oral human papillomavirus infection. Even though, the prevailing majority of people cure HPV within a couple of years, some can carry the HPV infection much longer than that.
Mouth and throat are typically affected by human papillomavirus infection, which is often one of the main causes of the Oropharyngeal Cancer (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils). According to the statistics, in 70% of cases in the United States oropharyngeal cancer diagnosis is caused by human papilloma virus (HPV).
Once being infected with human papilloma virus (HPV), it may take years for oropharyngeal cancer to develop. However, it has not yet been scientifically proven whether having HPV alone is a solid factor to cause any type of oropharyngeal cancer, or is it more likely to be a combination of human papillomavirus with such habits, as smoking or chewing tobacco. Nevertheless, there is no evidence suggesting that HPV causes any other head and neck cancers such as mouth, larynx, lip, nose, or salivary glands.
Some people do not get any symptoms. For those who do, it is possible to highlight the following symptoms of Oropharyngeal Cancer:
If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to consult your doctor right away to eliminate the possibility of having any kind of oral cancers.
Typically, Human papillomavirus vaccines were designed to mitigate the risk of getting a cervical and other cancers of reproductive system associated with HPV. Not only do these HPV vaccines prevent the cancers of the reproductive system, but they are also effective against oropharyngeal cancers.
According to CDC recommendation, HPV vaccination has to be done for 11- to 12-year-olds and for through age 26 years, if not vaccinated already.
CDC does not recommend the HPV vaccination for everyone, who is older than age 26. Nonetheless, in some cases men and women who age 27 through 45 years, who have not been vaccinated before, may get a prescription for an HPV vaccine after consulting a doctor. It is worthy of note that there are less benefits associated with HPV vaccination for older people, especially for those who have already been exposed to HPV. Another important thing is that HPV vaccination does not treat or cure existing HPV infection, or any other diseases or cancers associated with HPV. The sole purpose of HPV vaccine is to prevent the new HPV infections; therefore, it has more benefits, if made before any exposure to HPV.
Last updated on February 10th, 2021