How to Remove a Facial Wart

Like almost any wart that develops on your skin, facial warts are caused by the human papillomavirus. If a wart manifests on the face, it's usually linked to a certain strain of HPV responsible for flat warts, but you may also develop common warts on this area of the body. Treatment tends to be a bit more conservative, due to the sensitivity of the skin on your face. This is why the National Institutes of Health recommend you consult a physician prior to treating this type of wart.

Dermatologist examining man's face (Image: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Apply salicylic acid directly onto the wart each day. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends this over-the-counter wart remover for treating facial warts. It essentially peels away layer after layer of the wart until it is removed. Take care in applying the solution to the wart, as it's important to keep it off the rest of your skin.

Step 2

Have your doctor apply a cantharidin solution to the wart. Cantharidin is a blistering agent that lifts the wart away from the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. Once raised, the dead portions of the wart are removed and another treatment is applied to the growth.

Step 3

Get a prescription for tretinoin. Though this medicated cream is commonly used to treat acne, the American Academy of Dermatology maintains that tretinoin can help treat and remove facial warts. And much like an OTC wart remover, it should be applied directly to the wart each day to hinder cellular growth.

Step 4

Talk to your doctor about cryotherapy. This may not be the most appropriate method of facial wart removal, but your doctor can make this assessment based on the location and severity of the wart. With cryotherapy, a liquid nitrogen solution is applied to the wart, destroying its cells. The dead portions are removed and another application typically follows.

Step 5

Try having it surgically removed. Surgery is typically done with a scalpel, since there is less chance of scarring than with a laser. In this procedure, the facial wart is essentially scooped out of the skin. This method of wart removal is usually reserved for extremely difficult warts.

Things You'll Need

  • Salicylic acid

  • Tretinoin cream


When using salicylic acid to treat a facial wart, dampen a washcloth with warm water and place it over the wart for 15 to 20 minutes. This should allow the solution to better penetrate the wart, soaking deeper into its roots

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