Medical News Today: Facial warts and how to remove them

People can treat warts at home. However, it is best to speak with a doctor before attempting to treat a facial wart. Doctors can provide treatment recommendations and guidance for safe and successful wart treatment.

People should also keep in mind that many common wart treatments contain harsh substances such as salicylic acid. These should never come close to the eyes, nose, or mouth unless under close guidance by a doctor.

Home remedies

Up to two-thirds of warts resolve on their own without medical treatment. This happens when the body’s immune system successfully fights off the infection that caused the wart. However, it can take a year or longer for the wart to completely disappear.

Some people may not want to wait for a facial wart to disappear naturally. Instead, they may want to try treatments to physically remove the wart.

Salicylic acid is a popular treatment option for wart removal. However, experts do not typically recommend it for use on facial warts.

Some studies suggest that the topical application of vitamin A may be an effective alternative. According to one 2019 article, tretinoin — which is a derivative of vitamin A — may help treat flat warts. This is an off-label treatment.

Additionally, in 2012, researchers reported a case of a person who had successfully treated their warts with vitamin A extracted from fish liver oil. They had been applying the oil directly onto their warts. This is also an off-label treatment.

Medical treatments

If a wart does not improve in response to home treatment, a person may want to see a doctor. They may recommend one of the following medical treatment options:


Cryotherapy treatment involves spraying liquid nitrogen onto the wart. The liquid nitrogen will freeze and destroy the infected skin cells, causing the wart to fall off.

However, this treatment can leave dark or lights spots on the skin. People with very light or very dark skin types may therefore want to avoid using this method to treat facial warts.


A dermatologist can cover the wart with a blistering agent called cantharidin. They will then ask the person to wash the cantharidin off in 3–4 hours, or as soon as any blistering or pain occurs.

Dermatologists do not typically use cantharidin on warts located on the face due to the risk of blistering, which can be intense in some individuals.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not yet approved cantharidin for the treatment of warts.

Surgical removal

A doctor can use a scalpel to cut or scrape off a wart, especially a filiform wart. However, this is not always the best method to use on the face.

In other cases, they might pare down the surface of the wart so that the liquid nitrogen can penetrate more deeply into the core of the wart.


A doctor may recommend immunotherapy to stimulate a person’s immune system to destroy a wart. This may involve a series of injections of a substance called candida antigen into the wart. This can boost the immune system to tackle the wart.

Alternatively, a doctor may choose to apply off-label topicals to irritate the wart and stimulate the immune system.

Doctors usually reserve immunotherapy treatment for people with warts that do not respond to other treatment options.

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