If you had just one little flat wart on your face, it wouldn’t be such a problem. But you have dozens and they seem to be multiplying. What’s up with the ugly little things anyway? What did you do to have them invading your face? Are they going to pop up now in other places? Are they a mark of skin cancer? Even if they are benign, they are destroying your appearance. Read on to learn what causes flat warts and why you have them.
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What Are Flat Warts?
Flat warts can be as small as a pinhead, and they’re usually skin colored. The surface of a flat wart is generally smooth. You might have just one that’s barely noticeable, but flat warts like each other’s company, so you’ll most often have a cluster of them. Even worse, their favorite habitat is your face, although they’ll grow in other places.
Is It a Wart Or Something Else?
Your flat warts can be slightly darker than your normal skin color, and because they are in exposed areas, you may wonder if they’re freckles or moles. Or maybe they’re age spots. Sometimes it’s hard to tell. You’re well advised to consult a skin specialist before beginning any kind of treatment.
Changes in Warts
Any growth can be irritated by clothing or daily activities. However, you should seek professional care immediately if your growth begins to:
- Bleed, if you haven’t irritated it.
- Change in size or shape.
- Change color.
- Grow further outward.
Any of these symptoms can indicate abnormal cell changes.
Flat warts are sometimes called juvenile warts. This doesn’t mean they are in the early stages of growth. They’ve been given that name because flat warts afflict children and young people more often than older adults. Plane is another name for flat warts.
What Is the Cause of Flat Warts?
Every kind of wart, including a flat wart, is caused by a viral infection. The culprit is the human papillomavirus which has more than 100 types. A handful of those types are responsible for warts. Warts are the outward symptom of the virus. Warts can be treated, but they can return until the virus is eliminated.
HPV enters your body through a break in your skin. The break may be so small that you don’t even know about it. Warts are contagious and spread by skin-to-skin contact.
Children often have scratches and are in frequent contact with other children, so they are easy prey for viral infections. Adolescents who are learning to shave often cut themselves, leaving an opening for HPV. Anyone who scratches or picks at their skin can spread their existing warts or create an opportunity for infection.
The virus which causes warts makes skin cells grow rapidly. The growth expands to a lump on the outer layer of skin. An extensive network of blood vessels and nerves develop to nourish the growing lump, which you see as a wart. If you irritate a wart, it will bleed profusely. It’s easy to accidently cut a flat wart while shaving. If you cut or irritate your warts frequently, it’s a good idea to have them professionally removed.
Stages of Infection
HPV can remain dormant in your system for a long time, so that you may not know when or how you acquired the infection.
Flat wart infections have three levels of severity:
- Mild: very few painless growths.
- Moderate: up to 100 painless growths.
- Severe: more than 100 or painful growths.
Removal procedures are personal and depend on where your warts are, how many you have, and your level of discomfort. Many wart removal products are too harsh for sensitive facial skin. You will find help here about how to get rid of flat warts.
What Are the Types of Flat Warts?
Flat warts have the same characteristics regardless of where on your body they’re located. Individuals often describe them using names for their location, such as facial warts for flat warts on their faces.
The most common locations and causes are:
- Flat warts on your face: The virus often enters faces through nicks from shaving, especially for men.
- Flat warts on your hands: Small breaks occur easily and frequently in the skin on your hands. Additionally, you often touch others or yourself, increasing your exposure to the virus.
- Flat warts on your legs: Legs are easily scratched during outdoor activities. It’s also easy to nick your leg while shaving. Even a tiny break in your skin lets in the virus.
- Flat warts on your neck: It’s easy to scratch your neck if clothing or jewelry irritates it. Men also can nick their neck while shaving.
- Flat warts on your arms: Your arms can be scratched by bushes during outdoor activities. You may also have itchy insect bites that break your skin, especially if you scratch them.
- Warts on your forehead: Warts love warm and moist skin, including sweaty foreheads. Brushing your hair away from your face often results in minuscule scratches.
- Warts on your chin: Shaving leaves your chin vulnerable to warts.
- Warts on your feet: Warts on your feet are usually plantar warts, and are caused by a different type of HPV than the type responsible for flat warts. They look and feel much different from flat warts. However, feet are subject to a multitude of small injuries and all that any virus needs is a tiny break in the skin.
Why Do I Have Flat Warts on My Face?
It is unfortunately easy to develop warts on your face. Your facial skin is subject to tiny breaks in the skin from a variety of activities.
These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Harsh cleansers,
- Scratching any facial irritation,
- Squeezing a pimple.
Once there is a break in your skin, no matter how small, the virus can invade your body.
Some ways you are exposed to a virus include:
- Touching an existing wart on your face.
- Touching your face when you have warts on your hands or fingers.
- Someone with warts on their hands or fingers touching your face.
It is exceptionally easy for mothers to pass warts back and forth between themselves and their children.
What Are These Small Warts on My Lips?
Warts on your lips may be:
Because of the sensitive skin on your lips and the risk of infecting other parts of your mouth or face, you need to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Flat warts are harmless, but no one likes having them. You can help prevent them by keeping your immune system strong, as that’s the only way you can suppress the virus that causes them. Get rid of the virus and your warts will disappear.