One day you’re looking in the mirror and there it is… a wart. And not just any wart. It’s on your nose. Big or small, flesh-colored or pink, these kind of growths can be especially bothersome, considering how obvious they are to anyone you come face-to-face with. You can’t hide them. They can get in the way and even invade into your nostrils. Not fun. So what do you do about it? First, you should find out what nose warts are all about.
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What Exactly Are Nose Warts?
Nose warts are caused by the same thing responsible for all human warts – HPV. Human Papilloma Virus is what makes those pesky things grow in your skin, and is found in warm, moist places such as pool decks and showers. And the more people that use the places, the more likely that HPV will be lurking.
When the virus gets into your skin, it settles itself into your skin’s epithelial layer, which is the upper section. There it waits until deciding to activate itself, replicating repeatedly and making the skin overproduce cells, gradually sticking up as a wart. There are different strains for different types of warts. For example, genital warts are from a completely different strain than plantar warts on your foot. Nose warts are a different type of HPV than warts that invade under your fingernails.
Another type of wart that can be bothersome is a wart around you eye. These can be especially irritating and even affect your vision in extreme circumstances. For more details on eye warts, go here.
There’s More Than One Type
Not all nose warts are the same type. The common wart is one that you may find there, and that people most often recognize.
Characteristics of it can include the following:
- A smooth surface.
- A range of colors, from flesh-colored to red, pink, or brown.
Another type of wart found on the face is a filiform wart.
You can recognize them by:
- Several small, fingerlike projections coming up from it.
- Anywhere near the eyes, nose or mouth.
- Flesh colored.
What if it’s inside my nose?
Unfortunately, warts can grow inside your nose. They can either start on the outside and work their way in, or HPV can get inside there from the start. To do that, there would have to be breaks in the skin inside your nose and a way for the virus to somehow get all the way in there.
Filiform warts might be one of the ugliest types there is. Not only that, but they also stick up more and are found on a very obvious place like your face, which can be hard to deal with. To learn more about filiform warts, go here.
Warts on the outside of your nose
It is much more common to find a wart on the outside of your nose than the inside. Normally, the warts stay toward the end of your nose, whether it’s on top or around the base. It’s not nearly as often that you’ll find a wart on the bridge or higher. These warts can be treated like any wart you’d find somewhere else.
Unlike a pimple, warts don’t form from clogged pores. The nose is a common place to find a pimple, which grow as a bump that’s usually red or pink. But unlike a wart, a pimple will fill with pus and sometimes be sore. A wart begins to grow due to a virus, and has nothing to do with clogged pores whatsoever.
Right inside the nostril
When a wart invades your nose, it can be much more tricky to remove.
Some things to remember if this happens to you:
- Don’t try and treat it how you’d treat a regular wart. Once inside the mucous membranes of your nostril, medication and treatments for standard wart removal can cause damage. Consult a doctor before starting any kind of treatment regimen.
- Don’t scratch or pick. The wart can bleed and tear your healthy skin if you try and pick it off. Resist the urge, even though it’s tempting.
Best Way To Treat Warts On Your Nose
Luckily for you, there are several ways to treat nose warts. Ranging from over the counter, to prescription, to medical intervention, there’s never a reason why you have to live with a wart constantly on your skin. Warts on the face can be a bit more tricky, however, as you want to avoid anything that would lead to scarring. With careful heed to product’s and doctor’s instructions, you can get rid of your nose wart with no scarring left behind.
Some ways a nose wart can be removed:
- Salicylic acid: Made from the bark of the willow tree, this acid eats at the wart’s tissue, layer by layer. Apply it directly onto the wart and cover with a light bandage if desired. Repeat twice a day. Results are usually seen in 1-2 weeks. Further details can be found here.
Freezing agents: At-home freezing kits are abundant in stores now, using a propellant gas that comes out at an extremely cold temperature. Once it touches your wart, the cold destroys the living tissue, penetrating deeper into the wart until the entire thing is too damaged and dies. Read more here.Salicylic acid can kill a wart as effectively as prescriptions.
- Natural remedies: Ingredients that you find at home can help to get rid of a wart without even needing to go to the store. Apple cider vinegar, banana peel, and essential oils are all things used by many to kill a wart. Read more here.
Keep these products in mind when you’re thinking of wart removal:
- Compound W Fast Acting Liquid: This uses salicylic acid to remove the wart and comes with a brush built into the handle. Similar products come in a gel for a no-drip application. Read more here.
- Dr. Scholls Clear Away One Step Pads: This also uses salicylic acid as its main component, but embeds it into a bandage that you stick directly onto your wart. The beauty of these is that you can apply it, then leave it alone while the acid does its magic. For nose warts, consider smaller bandages, or cutting them down to size to fit onto your nose. Read more here.
- Wart Freeze: This canister has a precision application nozzle to help give you perfect aim at your wart. It shoots a freezing agents just at the wart and nothing else, ensuring you don’t damage healthy tissue. Read more here.
- Dr Scholls Freeze Away: A cotton swab applicator makes applying the freezing agent a total breeze. Just make sure the swab is thoroughly saturated, then press onto your wart for the amount of time stated in the instructions. Read more here.
Maybe seeing the many different ways you can kill a wart has gotten you excited. Or maybe it’s filled you with dread – which it shouldn’t! Killing a wart doesn’t have to be a big deal. Find more details on how to remove warts on face here.
Sometimes you may need to see a doctor for your nose wart, whether it’s out of necessity or out of simply not wanting to perform treatment yourself. Something you should consider before undergoing medical treatment is that there will be a higher cost and time commitment associated with this route.
If you’re thinking about going to a doctor for surgical excision of a nose wart, make sure you know the procedure in detail. Because there’s cutting, there will be some blood and most likely a little more pain than other methods. However, the result is unlike any other – the wart is gone immediately.
Once you visit your healthcare professional, they’ll go over options with you.
Things they could suggest include:
- Surgical excision: This would be the logical option for a wart inside your nostril, but can also be used for ones on the outside of your nose as well. Using a sharp cutting tool, the physician will then cut the wart out of the skin tissue until no wart cells are left. This ensures that it won’t grow back. Please see detailed descriptions here.
- Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen is the key ingredient in this method of removal, which effectively destroys living tissue with its very low temperature. After your doctor is done treating the wart, there may be a blister that forms over the site. This is normal, and the most important thing to remember is to leave the blister alone. Picking at it can pop the blister and spread the dead viral particles around your healthy skin. Further details can be found here.
- Electrocautery: A hand held wand is used in electrocautery that emits an electrical current out its end. This produces heat, which then destroys the wart tissue when it makes contact. There may be smoke and a burning smell, but this is normal. For more information click here.
- Laser Therapy: This is similar to electrocautery, where heat is used to kill the wart. A focused laser is directed at the wart, heating it up until the tissue dies. Just like electrocautery, one benefit is that there isn’t much blood involved, if any at all. Read more here.
So if you’re looking in the mirror one day and see a wart on your nose, don’t freak out. Treatments are available to help you diagnose, treat and manage your wart until it’s gone. And not just gone for a day, but gone for good.