If you notice a bump-like formation on any part of your body, it is mostly a wart. When the same thing appears on your face, it is called a facial wart. Even though harmless, facial warts not only make you feel really self-conscious, but if they occur around a sensitive area, like your eyelids or around the mouth, they may cause quite some pain and discomfort. Hence, it is obvious why you want to eliminate facial warts as soon as possible.
But if you have absolutely no idea about what caused it or what you should be doing to eliminate this wart, then you have come to the right place. To help you understand this better, we spoke to Dr. Niketa Sonavane from Ambrosia Aesthetics to find out what exactly a facial wart is and its most common types to the various possible treatments and home remedies, so you know exactly what you need to do in case you are suspecting that you have warts on face.
- What are facial warts
- What causes facial warts
- Types of facial warts
- How to remove facial warts
- Home remedies for facial warts
- FAQs about facial warts
What are facial warts
For those of you who don’t know, warts are tiny bumps on the surface of your skin and can occur on any part of your body. But when this growth happens on your face, it is known as a facial wart. Even though these are pretty much harmless, they extend out of your face skin by one to two mm, look like a big blister and can be quite rough in texture.
The most common areas on your face where you can develop facial warts are the lips, eyelids and as well as your cheeks. Even though harmless, facial warts can still cause a fair amount of soreness, itchiness and skin irritation. Many times, facial warts develop a small black dot, which is your blood vessel being exposed and if touched too often, can cause bleeding. Experts recommend you to avoid touching a facial wart, as it is very contagious and can very quickly spread to other parts of your body.
Even though these can go away on their own, it is always better to speak to a doctor and figure out the best way to eliminate facial warts. This is because, if left on their own, they take a long time – anywhere between one to five years – to go away.
What causes facial warts
Now let’s take a look at what causes facial warts. Warts are actually a result of an infection in the topmost layer of your skin, which is caused by a virus belonging to the human papillomavirus, or HPV, family. This type of virus can survive on just about any surface – cloth, wood, metal – and therefore it is almost impossible to determine where exactly one has come in contact with it. HPV can actually thrive and live on your skin for up to a year before it manifests into a wart, which makes it even more difficult to determine where one could have caught it.
Since it is extremely contagious, it is advisable to not share your towels, clothes and other personal belongings with anyone else. People with a weaker immune system are more prone to facial warts.
Types of facial warts
The two most common types of warts that can develop on your face are flat warts and filiform warts.
Cheeks and forehead are the two most common areas where people develop this category of facial warts. This group of warts is usually seen in children more than adults, which is why there are also referred to as juvenile warts.
Flat warts are mostly seen in clusters of small white bumps that resemble poppy seeds. They are usually pink, brown or yellow in colour and aren’t particularly painful.
Filiform warts look more like a hard, rough blister and have a spiky appearance that protrudes from your face. The most common areas on the face that develop this type of warts are around your eyelids, nose and mouth. These can cause some amount of pain and discomfort, especially if you get them in a delicate area such as around the eyelids.
How to remove facial warts
As discussed earlier, facial warts can usually tend to go away on their own and that usually takes quite a few years. This can be a major inconvenience, especially if your wart is in a delicate place like around your eyes or mouth. Even though there is no real cure for warts, visiting your doctor will open up a few avenues about the best ways to deal with them. Here are some of the most common remedies used by dermatologists –
1. Skincare acids –
Salicylic acid is usually the first line of treatment that your doctor will recommend. This method involves the use of applying prescription-strength salicylic acid to help in exfoliating the skin and get rid of facial warts layer by layer. If the salicylic acid doesn’t do much for you, then the doctor would recommend other acids too.
2. Cryotherapy –
For this treatment, your dermatologist will spray liquid nitrogen onto the wart and freeze it and then remove it slowly over a period of few weeks. The most common side effects of this type of procedure is blistering, soreness and slight discolouration, especially in people with darker skin tones.
3. Surgery –
In this treatment, your doctor surgically removes or cuts of the wart from the surface of your skin using a scalpel.
4. Electrosurgery & Curettage –
This treatment involves the use of an electric current to heat the tissue and thereby make the wart fall of your skin.
5. Cantharidin –
Cantharidin is a chemical that is applied onto your skin around the wart to form a blister around it. Once the blister is fully formed, your doctor would then remove it and the wart would come off with it.
Home remedies for facial warts
Since facial warts are mostly harmless, you can always try out certain home remedies to see if they work for you, especially if your wart is not causing you any discomfort or pain. Additionally, avoid touching the wart as far as possible to prevent it from spreading to other parts of your body as these are extremely contagious.
1. Garlic extracts –
Garlic is an abundant source of allium sativum, which has incredible antiviral properties. This helps in killing the human papillomavirus over a period of time and thereby eliminates facial warts.
- Cover your wart with a clove of fresh garlic and seal it in place with a tape or bandage.
- Repeat this process daily until the wart falls off.
- Since raw garlic is quite strong, it can cause a slight burning sensation. While this is completely normal, if it is too much for you to bear, take it off and wash the area with cool water.
2. Lemon juice –
Rich in citric acid, research claims that lemon juice is one of the best and most effective home remedies to get rid of facial warts. Citric acid helps in killing the virus, which is how it eliminates facial warts too. But never apply lemon juice directly to your face. Instead, dilute it with either honey or water and apply it to the wart.
FAQs about facial warts
Q. How to prevent facial warts?
A. Here are the top five ways to prevent facial warts –
- Avoid touching anyone’s facial warts
- Do not share your towel, undergarments or makeup tools with anyone as far as possible
- Keep the wart covered with a bandage or tape.
- Avoid scratching the wart
Q. When should one see a doctor for facial warts?
A. It is advisable to get immediate medical help if you notice that your wart is either bleeding or is oozing out fluids. Additionally, if the wart is spreading to other parts of the body or is really painful, then you should visit a doctor without any delay.