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Warts are small bumps on the skin that can resemble a more solid blister, or have a raised and bumpy appearance. However, there are a few different types. Although warts may seem innocuous, they are in fact infections of the skin caused by viruses of the the human papillomavirus (HPV) type. When this particular virus contacts the top layer of skin (usually VIA a cut) it creates a wart by ensuing fast cell growth on that outer skin layer. Warts are extremely common, and most individuals will get one at least once in their lives. They can appear in many places, often occurring on the hands, but warts on face are prevalent, too.
Although many warts can actually disappear on their own, this may take years to happen. Thankfully there are a variety of treatments that work to speed up the process and get rid of them.
Just like other types of warts, warts on face are caused by specific types of the HPV virus. Two types of common facial warts are Filiform warts and Flat warts.
Filiform warts have a unique appearance opposed to other types. They are usually long, and raised approximately 1-2 millimeters off of the skin surface, protruding much more than other warts. These Filiform warts on face usually appear around the lip and eyelid areas, as well as the neck. The strains of the HPV virus that are known to specifically cause Filiform warts are strains 1, 2, 4, 27, and 29. These warts can be caused through direct (skin-to-skin) contact or even indirect contact from clothes, towels, or other objects
Flat warts are small warts on face, usually only about 1-3 millimeters in size. They aren’t very noticeable and are usually round or oval sized, however, they can grow in groups of 20 to even 200. Children and young adults seem to be the most susceptible to Flat warts, therefore they are often called “juvenile” warts. The strains of HPV that cause Flat warts on face are types 3, 10, 28, and 49.
Both Filiform and Flat warts on face can be caused through having open cuts or scratches on the skin, warm or wet skin, or from exposure to the virus. Having a weak immune system also makes one susceptible to catching the virus, as it is harder to fight it off. Other warts on face causes can include poor nutrition such as an unhealthy diet, and stress. These factors all increase risk of transmission of warts on face.
Unlike Filiform warts, Flat warts can appear on men as a result of cuts from shaving as well.
Warts on face don’t look the same in appearance as the warts you might see on your hands or feet for instance. Plantar warts which often appear on the soles of your feet are flat, spread out surfaces that often hurt to walk on, and common warts on the finger appear as solid bumps, usually small and blister-like. These pictures of warts on face can give you a better idea.
HPV warts on face, as mentioned, would be classified as either Flat warts or Filiform warts.
Flat warts on face appear as above, or similar. Although they are small and smooth in size, they tend to spread into larger clusters of multiple warts – even up to 200. The colour of flat warts can be yellow, pink, or brown, and they are round or oval shaped.
Filiform warts can be more undesirable due to their raised and protruding appearance. They are extensions of skin (about 1-2 millimeters long) which are bumpy and almost resembling “fingers”. As shown in the photos, Filiform warts on face are most common around the eyelid and lip areas. They are usually a single wart opposed to a group, and can be pink, yellow, brown, or skin-coloured.
Warts on face can be harder to treat than other bodily locations at times. Flat warts tend to disappear by themselves, but there are treatments to speed up the process if you don’t want to wait months or even a couple of years. Similarly, Filiform warts on face will also likely go away over time on their own, but there are different treatments for these warts as well.
There are a variety of non-invasive methods to remove warts on face that are available. Some products which are known to aid in wart removal include:
At home freezing treatments can be used on warts, however they are usually used on plantar and common wart, as opposed to warts on face. The Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away Wart Remover is a popular choice, and is doctor-proven. It can eliminate warts as quickly as one-time use. A 7-Treatment package of the Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away Wart Remover is available for purchase on Amazon. It’s easy-to-use, and convenient.
The brand Compound W offers quite a few products that work to get rid of warts at home. The fast-acting gel for instance, is easy, safe, and painless to use. This gel uses Salicylic acid to remove warts efficiently. This product is mostly used on plantar and common warts as well, so there may be better options for removing warts on face. This fast-acting gel from Compound W, and some of their other popular products are available for purchase on Amazon.
Tea Tree Oil can be effective for getting rid of warts and is safe to use for warts on face as well. This essential oil comes from an Australian plant, and has been proven to speed up the healing of wounds, as well as having antiviral and antibacterial properties. Amazon also sells a variety of tea tree oils. You can apply the Tea Tree Oil to your wart(s) up to twice a day, however, this method may take a few months to notice results.
The Wart Stick is another product which can work for wart removal. It comes in the form of a solid stick, and it goes onto the skin dry. This is another method which uses Salicylic Acid (40%) as a pain-free and odorless way to quickly kill the wart. However, as a warts on face home remedy this may not be the best choice, and may be more ideal for common and plantar warts. The Wart Stick is available for purchase Amazon.
A suitable at-home remedy for warts on face (such as flat warts) can be the Boiron Thuja Occidentalis pellets. These are a type of natural medicine that can relieve and get rid of warts. Upon the first sign of wart symptoms you should begin taking these pellets by dissolving 5 of them under your tongue, 3 times a day, until you can see results. The Boiron Thuja Occidentalis pellets are for sale on Amazon in different sized packages. Customer reviews are positive, and many individuals have found that they work well.
There are also a number of natural, at-home methods you can try as a warts on face home remedy.
Often used to treat genital warts, green tea has antioxidants that work against the HPV virus, and is worth a try for warts on face as well. You can drink a cup of green tea 2-3 times throughout the day, or apply the teabags to the affected area. To apply directly, simply steep a green tea bag in boiling water (or near-boiling), let the bag cool off, apply it to the wart(s), and leave it there for 10-15 minutes. You should do this about 3 times per day, and this should dry out the wart(s) until they fall off. You could also use the direct application method, and drink green tea throughout the day for maximum results.
This method isn’t medically proven, however, many claim that it works quickly. To use duct tape for a warts on face home remedy, you must cover your wart(s) with duct tape while you sleep and then remove it in the morning. You should repeat this routine until the warts on face are gone, usually for periods of 6 days and up to 2 months (maximum). The duct tape is said to work for wart removal due to the substances contained in the tape and how they work on the body. The duct tape will actually irritate the skin, forming antibodies which help get rid of the HPV causing the warts.
Another proven remedy for warts on face is garlic. Garlic has an antiviral effect which can kill many viruses, including HPV. You can use garlic by purchasing garlic extract and applying it to the wart(s) or crush fresh garlic and apply it to the affected area.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural remedy that can be used on all types of warts, and it’s also safe for warts on face. The acid from the vinegar affects the wart area and forces it to peel away from the healthy skin, while removing the virus. You should firstly dilute the apple cider vinegar with water (up to 50% if desired) and half soak a cotton ball in it. Place the cotton ball on the wart, and cover with a bandage for 24 hours.
The best way to remove warts on face will depend on personal factors, and the same method will likely not work for everyone. Moreover, the time it takes for the warts on face to disappear will be affected by the individual’s health, type of wart, and size of wart or the influenced area.
There are other popular methods available for removing warts on face (such as Filiform and Flat warts) that are surgical or medical. These can include:
Although these methods can be affective, they may lead to scarring, whereas less invasive methods won’t. Some surgical procedures for wart removal may also cause warts to spread in some cases, so bear this in mind.
Topical creams can also be used as a gentler approach to surgery. Doctors may prescribe creams (with benzoyl peroxide, or retinoic acid for example) which make it possible to peel the warts away. These can be especially good for warts on face as a means to avoid the scarring caused by more intense procedures.
Always consult a dermatologist if you are considering surgery to remove warts on face.
As previously mentioned there are different types of warts which vary in appearance. These include flat warts, filiform warts, common warts, plantar warts, periungual warts, and genital warts. Warts on face usually come in the form of flat warts or filiform warts.
Flat warts will appear as small warts on face, but can also be found on legs, and arms. Although they are small they can grow in groups. They have a flat appearance, and aren’t raised.
Filiform warts can grow around the mouth/lips, nose, neck, eyelids, or even under the chin. These types of warts on face are raised, can look like a protruding tag of skin, and are usually isolated. Filiform warts can grow and develop quite rapidly as well.
Common warts appear most often on extremities such as fingers and toes, but can appear elsewhere too. They are small raised bumps that are harder than the surrounding skin.
Plantar warts grow into your skin surface, opposed to outside of it, and are found on the soles of the feet. These types of warts can be identified by a small dot or hole in the bottom of the foot, with hardened skin around it. They can also make walking painful or uncomfortable.
Periungual warts can also be painful. These warts grow around fingernails and toenails, and can affect nail growth and the cuticle itself. Although they start small in size, they can grow into unattractive, harder bumps, and can spread into clusters.
Genital warts are highly contagious. They have different types on their own, but can be growths appearing around the genital and/or anal area. They are usually skin coloured, and can appear in clusters.
Not all types of warts or strains of the virus (HPV) are extremely contagious, and people have different reactions to it. As mentioned, one’s vulnerability to the HPV virus (which leads to the warts on face) highly depends on their immune system, and how well they can fight off infection.
By adulthood, most people have become immune to most of the HPV strains that cause warts. It’s unlikely that an adult will develop warts on face due to coming into contact with an individual who has them. When the virus is spread, it usually happens through shared items such as clothes, towels, etc. and of course through direct contact as well.
However, since children and teens haven’t had as much time to develop immunity to the HPV virus, warts on face would be significantly more contagious for them. This is why warts are more commonly seen in youth, especially Flat warts.
As a general rule to avoid warts on face, you should never come in direct contact with another person’s wart(s), and you should avoid sharing towels/facecloths with those who have them as well.
It’s never recommended to cut off a wart yourself, no matter where it is on the body. This method won’t solve the problem, and after effects may be even worse than the wart itself.
Typically cutting off a wart bears negative consequences such as bleeding, pain, scarring, and/or infection. Since warts have many nerve endings, they can bleed excessively if cut and can also be very painful. A permanent scar is almost promised in this case too, and the wound created from this cutting becomes vulnerable to infection.
Cutting or trimming warts professionally can be done with sterile equipment by a doctor, and at least this way it reduces risk. However, for warts on face, cutting them off is not a good idea regardless, due to the unwanted scarring it leaves behind.
HPV warts on face do have the chance of growing back because even if the wart itself is gone, sometimes the virus isn’t. The HPV virus can stay in your DNA without your knowledge, which can cause the warts to grow back or appear elsewhere on the body. Genital warts are a different case altogether, and they have a much higher chance of returning.
With warts on any areas of the body, some ways that you can lower the risk of the warts growing back are by improving your immune system, having a healthier diet, practicing consistent hygiene, and always taking care of open wounds/cuts.
When deciding how to remove warts on face, the chosen method will vary for each individual. There are different aftercare instructions depending on the type of wart, as well as the removal method.
In general, if you’re getting warts on face removed, the aftercare is just as important as the removal itself. When getting warts professionally removed, the doctor or dermatologist will provide you thorough aftercare instructions depending on the procedure. You may receive antibiotic cream, bandages, etc. that you have to follow up with. In most cases you must remember at the least to keep the wound or removal area clean, as to avoid infection, and to keep the same area covered up with a bandage.
If you have a wound from where the wart existed previously, this area may also scab when it begins to heal. You must avoid scratching, touching, or picking at this area because it could disrupt the healing process, and/or cause a scar.
With more invasive wart removal procedures (such as laser, cryotherapy, etc.) aftercare instructions may include avoiding direct sunlight, avoiding strenuous exercise, and using special moisturizers, to name a few.
In all wart removal cases, you should contact your doctor if you catch a fever, have an open sore which won’t heal, your wound has pus and is red/swollen, or if there is significant pain. It’s important to monitor for these signs and others to ensure the healing process is going the way it should.
Warts and skin tags are different, mainly because warts are caused by the HPV virus, whereas skin tags are not. Warts are also contagious, as previously mentioned, and can be spread upon contact, or even to other parts of the body. Skin tags are not contagious at all, and don’t have this effect.
Skin tags are benign growths, and are smoother than warts. They usually grow off of a stalk emerging from the skin’s surface, not from underneath the skin (as a wart does). Although they are protruding in nature, like a Filiform wart for example, they do not have the same bumpy appearance as that type of wart. This can help to set them apart.
Not only can you get warts on your face, but they can appear on many other areas of the body. As mentioned, warts on face are generally in the form of Filiform or Flat warts. Filiform warts can also appear on your neck and chin. Flat warts are not only found on the face, but also may grow on legs or arms.
Common warts usually show up on the fingers and toes, and Plantar warts exist on the soles of the feet. Periungual warts grow around or underneath the finger and toenails, and Genital warts most obviously affect the genital area.
Although these are the most common areas where warts appear, they can also show up on elbows, knees, chest, wrists, or even the scalp.
Last updated on September 29th, 2020