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Facial Warts: What Are They? What Causes Them?
- 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.
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 manufacturer 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.
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