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Facial Warts: What Are They? What Causes Them?

Facial Warts

  • Facial skin care is important when considering facial warts
  • Facial skin treatment options are available for facial warts
  • Facial scars can result from facial warts and facial wart removal

Although they can be distressing, facial warts are rarely a serious health issue; however, most people who have them want to know where they come from so they can prevent them from ever returning. The good news is that there are a number of treatments for facial warts so they do not have to be part of your appearance permanently.

The Causes of Facial Warts

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), facial warts are most commonly caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). You may have heard of HPV recently because it is the same virus believed to cause some types of cervical cancer in young women. Don’t let this worry you though. Having facial warts does not mean you have cancer. There are over 100 types of these viruses and some are responsible for skin warts. While we’re focusing on facial warts here, HPV also cause warts on other parts of the body as well, including the mouth, hands, and genital warts.

As with any type of virus, HPV can be passed from person to person. If you touch one person’s wart or use a towel that touched a person’s wart, you can contract HPV yourself and develop warts on that part of your body. Treatment is believed to help minimize the spread of the warts on your body and to other people, according to the AAFP.

Possible Treatments

Facial warts can be treated in a number of ways. In some cases, you might not even need treatment because the warts will go away on their own. According to drug Merck, however, flat warts (one of the most common types to appear on the face) are often resistant and do not go away on their own. Even if they do go away, the time table can be long. Research shows that 20 percent of warts disappear in six months, while two-thirds vanish within 24 months. Of course that can be a long time to live with unsightly facial warts.

Treatment usually happens in stages. You should first try some over-the-counter (OTC) remedies that have been proven effective. These should be useful for many patients but should not be used by patients who have diabetes or who have compressed immune systems. The majority of OTC remedies contain salicylic acid, which can gradually dissolve the warts.

When those methods do not work, your physician will have other options available, including freezing warts with liquid nitrogen, burning with a laser, removing via surgery, or prescribing medications to boost the immune system’s response to the facial warts. When facial warts are severe or resistant, your physician can also inject an anti-viral medication known as bleomycin, directly into the warts. Unfortunately, many of these methods will leave a surgical scar.

Repeat Appearance of Facial Warts

Even after successful treatment, facial warts do sometimes reappear; however, the risk of that occurring seems to depend on your immune system’s strength. As long as you follow preventative measures, like washing your hands after potential contact with HPV, you can reduce your overall chances of developing or re-developing facial warts.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

11 Responses to “Facial Warts: What Are They? What Causes Them?”

  1. 1
    vilma h, martinez Says:
    I have lots of facial warts, some dermatologist suggest cautery, is it avisable beacause I am a diabetic person what can you recommend/
  2. 2
    Andy Says:
    I work in a hospital and have a wart on the side of my mouth and have ZERO idea where I picked it up. My boyfriend doesn't have any *anywhere* on his body (trust me, I've looked). All my doc friends tell me that I had to have picked it up from a patient at some point although I don't know how. My boyfriend is very understanding and reassures me that I will be able to kiss him again one day..Thanks you all for the helpful solutions oh and FYI that acid stuff may say 'painless' on the bottle..lol yeah right!! B-U-R-N-S BAD..have a good time with that! - Andy in Atlanta
  3. 3
    Anonymous Says:
    Hi Acey, thanks for sharing this. Even I am suffering from facial warts. Can you please specify the name of the oil and where it is available? Anonymous
  4. 4
    Acey Says:
    Hi, I had facial warts for a couple of months. I used a pill and an ointment. They were gone for a month but reappeared to my fear. I searched over internet desperately and I found "amoils healing natural oil". I bought a small bottle. I didn't see a sign of removal after 4 weeks. But then they gradually faded. I'm so glad they are gone. I just realized it now when I looked at myself in the mirror and thought to share this with people suffering from facial warts. Acey
  5. 5
    Facial Warts Says:
    I have found the best treatment for my facial warts is freezing with liquid nitrogen at the doctors office. I've tried other methods but I find this the best
  6. 6
    Prof. Nutralegacy Says:
    Dear Lazeny, Obviously if the cauterizing worked before, you should have every reason to assume it would work again. From a nutritional standpoint, natural remedies are not always successful at getting rid of warts. You always have an option of seeking out a homeopath who can counsel you as to the specific remedy that may help you. One other avenue you might consider is talk to your Dermatologist about a procedure that incorporates giving you a shot of known allergen. If the allergen causes a reaction in your system this means that you are indeed allergic to it. Then, the doctor will paint your warts with that same allergen and your body will attack that area as though it were going after a foreign invader. What happens is the process allows your body to attack and eliminate the warts in an internal basis so as to more permananently eliminate them. Good luck! Meredith
  7. 7
    lazeny Says:
    I had my facial warts cauterized by a dermatologist when I was 15, she told me that I had too much of it on my face and my eyelids that it has to be removed or it will increase in number. Now after almost 10 years the warts came back in full force, my face is full of them again and I'm thinking of having it cauterized again.
  8. 8
    Tara Says:
    I actually received the gardasil shot a year ago and after that i developed small hpv facial warts that i have to have continually frozen off every 3 months or so its really ridiculous. But i defintately think it is a side effect from the drug.
  9. 9
    vicki Says:
    My daughter had the same issue & took Garasil also.. I think there could be a possible link???
  10. 10
    vicki Says:
    my daughter age 24 received the shot garasil 3 times as recommended, However she now has small bumps on her face not many be enough to be alarmed . She went to her derm. and he said they were small warts. Could this be a side effect from this garasil drug?
  11. 11
    jordanna_pretty Says:
    I have had facial warts and they do go away with some treatment. Don't let them bother you, however, as they could easily appear something else you can pass off and won't ruin your date.