Warts on the face can be an uncomfortable problem for those who suffer from them since they can be pronounced and, in addition, as there is the possibility of contagion, they are frequent in large numbers. It is essential to know the causes of warts on the face so that, in this way, their nature can be understood and, thus, start the most appropriate treatment.
In this FastlyHealarticle, we bring you the information you need to know why warts appear on the face, how to avoid them, how to remove them, and in which cases it is advisable to turn to a professional since the resolution is not always straightforward and, Sometimes they can be confused with other injuries that can be more complicated.
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Why do warts appear on the face: causes
Warts that appear on the skin of the face are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This penetrates the outermost layer of the skin, called the epidermis, generating a benign lesion that grows outward. Generally, it is spread in the same person by scratching, shaving, or simply touching them. From when this happens until the new lesion appears on the skin, it can take up to 18 months.
There are more than 100 different types of HPV, and only some of them cause lesions on the skin of the face. Most of these warts do not cause any discomfort except aesthetically. They usually bleed when they shave, or their outermost area is injured. It is essential to know that these warts do not usually become malignant; they do not usually transform into skin cancer.
They are more frequent in children and young adults, especially in women. They also appear in people with defense problems; therefore, if you have warts that do not improve with treatments, consultation with a trusted doctor is suggested.
Types of warts on the face
There are several types of viral warts on the face; all are caused by HPV but of different types, making the lesions different from each other and located in different places. These types are:
- Common or vulgar warts: they are usually rough, both rounded and irregular, grayish, brownish, or yellowish. They can measure between 2 and 10 mm. They appear in places that suffer trauma (shaving, rubbing).
- Pedunculated (hanging) or cauliflower-type warts: it is an infrequent variable, which is usually located on the scalp and beard.
- Filiform (or thread-like) warts: These are thin, elongated warts. They are most often located on the neck, lips, eyelids, and face. Treating them is usually straightforward.
- Flat warts: they are smooth and with flat edges, yellowish, brownish, pinkish, or similar to the skin. It is widespread that they are spread by scratching. They are more challenging to treat.
Warts must be differentiated from other lesions, whose treatment and evolution may not be so simple. Therefore, it is suggested that if there are doubts, consult the professional. The lesions that can be mistaken for warts are:
- Seborrheic keratosis: they have an appearance of dry mud stuck to the skin (something raised in color between black and brown). In addition to the face, it usually appears on the chest, back and shoulders. They typically do not require treatment, except that they bleed with the friction or are many.
- Skin tags: they are benign lesions of one millimeter or a little more, similar in color to skin, which is usually located in areas of folds (eyelids, neck, groin, armpits); they do not tend to grow or cause discomfort, except when they are irritated by friction.
- Actinic keratosis: they are flat, generally less than 1 cm, with a pink to a whitish color. They are produced by changes in the skin due to chronic sun exposure. It is essential to permanently control them with a dermatology specialist due to the possible transformation into skin cancer.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: it is a malignant tumor. It usually occurs in older adults, in areas of the skin usually exposed to the sun. It is slightly red in appearance, hardened, and has tiny scales. They must be treated without loss of time by a specialist.
How to remove warts on the face – medical treatment
Viral warts on the face tend to decrease in size on their own in large part of the cases, but when this does not happen, if they generate pain or cause a lot of discomfort aesthetically, different treatments can be used. Their objective is:
- Destroy the wart
- Stimulate our body’s defense system to attack the virus.
Removing warts on the face can be achieved through different treatment methods:
- Local irritants: different substances are applied to warts that gradually remove the outermost layers; over time, the idea is that they disappear. The most widely used drug is salicylic acid. It is usually applied at night.
- Destructive methods are those that are performed to remove warts in one session. Cryosurgery can be used (liquid nitrogen is applied, blisters form, and the dead tissue falls off in about a week. It is a method that causes pain and can leave spots), microsurgery (the wart is removed with a laser or scalpel, it is very effective for filiform warts, but in case of flat or common warts scars may remain).
Since new lesions can frequently appear, it is advisable not to perform treatments that leave scars. This recurrence of injuries has been related to problems in the patient’s immune status; orienting treatment to improve the general condition and improve defenses may be a good strategy.
Home remedies for warts on the face
There are different habits and home remedies that can be taken into account to eliminate warts on the face:
- Don’t try to remove warts yourself – they could spread or cause more severe injury.
- When you clean the area where the warts are, do not use scrubs or sponges; try to clean the area carefully so that they do not spread to other areas of the skin.
- Improve your diet: increase the number of raw fruits and vegetables, reduce meat consumption, dairy products, refined flour and sugar, and foods with preservatives and flavorings. In this way, you will make your body work more efficiently; you will incorporate foods that improve your defenses and, thus, you will reduce the appearance of viral warts.
On the other hand, you can use some medicinal plants to remove warts on the face more quickly; these are:
- Aloe Vera or Aloe Vera: its juice is used locally on the wart.
- Mugwort: its leaves are soaked in alcohol and then applied to the lesions.
- Lapacho or guayacán: its bark is cooked and consumed as a tea.
- Sarsaparilla: a decoction is drunk from its root.
- Immortelle ( Kalanchoe ): its macerated leaves are used externally.
- Sen ( Cassia Angustifolia ): applied externally.
- Rubber: the sap is applied to the lesion.
- Purple onion: a poultice (onion in salt) is made, and that liquid is placed on the wart.
- Other plants can be used, but they require knowledge to treat them, as they can cause significant irritation. These are cashew, spurge, yellow daffodil, mattress grass, guarumo, swallow grass ( Euphorbia ), Croton, and thistle.
It is recommended that before the persistence of warts or if you are not sure if the lesions are warts, you consult your trusted doctor.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Warts on the face: why they come out and how to remove them, we recommend entering our Skin, hair and nails category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.