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What Causes Warts on the Face?

author image Jamie Simpson
Jamie Simpson is a researcher and journalist based in Indianapolis with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. She earned her B.S. in animal science from Purdue University and her Master of Public Affairs in public management from Indiana University. Simpson also works as a massage therapist and equine sports massage therapist.
What Causes Warts on the Face?
Woman examining her face in the mirror Photo Credit: 4774344sean/iStock/Getty Images

The most typical types of warts you may find on the face are called flat warts and filiform warts. Adults who see a sudden large wart appear on the face may want to visit the dermatologist to ensure it is not actually a mole that warrants additional attention. Children will typically see these types of warts come and go if they are left alone.

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The Facts

Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Common warts like those found on the face, hands and feet are a specific strain of this virus. There are more than 150 different kinds of HPV -- identifying the one causing facial warts is unlikely.

Warts are generally an outward symptom of a poor immune system. People with strong immune systems can typically fight off the virus responsible for facial warts. Strengthen the immune system through proper diet, adequate water intake and vitamin and mineral supplements.


Warts are typically colorless or skin-colored. They appear as raised bumps, usually in a row, or maybe individually. Brown, raised bumps on the face or other parts of the body are moles rather than warts. Ask a dermatologist -- skin specialist -- if you are unsure.

Time Frame

Different warts grow at various rates. Filiform warts on the face have frond-like projections and grow very quickly, sometimes several millimeters above the skin. Flat warts on the face grow more slowly and typically stay flat against the surface of the skin, though they may be two or more millimeters in diameter. If left completely undisturbed, warts will usually disappear in a few months and not spread.


Warts will typically go away on their own, though it can take a long time. Visit your dermatologist or doctor if the warts are particularly unsightly or seem to be spreading. Keep in mind that removing the warts often causes scarring, so waiting several months before pursuing this option might be a better alternative.

Expert Insight

Do not attempt to cut off a wart. Doing this simply spreads the virus to other parts of your face and may cause further infection in the cut area. If you are a man who shaves his face, keep in mind that shaving will cut the warts off and potentially spread them over your face or to other parts of your body.

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