How to Get Rid of Flat Warts

What are Flat Warts?

It is always alarming to find something on your body that you haven’t seen before. Better yet, a situation where you have no idea what that change is. Naturally, you will go right ahead and search up what you have and come across thousands of searches that may point to the wrong answer. These such answers may even make you panic or cause a huge anxiety attack. That is why before you go down that rabbit hole, it is important to understand what you have by knowing what you don’t have. One situation may be that you think you have a flat wart. Flat warts are smooth, flat-topped, brownish-yellow-colored bumps the size of a pinhead that are commonly located on the face, back of the hand, or legs. Flat warts, also known as juvenile warts, tend to appear in large numbers on young adults and children. These warts are usually not painful and are caused by a contagious, but benign, virus.

Flat Wart Symptoms

Usual symptoms of flat warts vary depending on the person, but in general:

  • Small, fleshy, grainy bumps
  • Brownish-yellow
  • Smooth, flat-topped
  • Size of a pinhead

What causes Flat Warts?

All warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) which comes in various types. Flat warts are caused by HPV types 3, 10, 28, and 49, but all these types of HPV are benign. What is most important to understand that HPV is contagious and can be passed from person to person through physical touch of the infected area. This means that anything that has made contact with the wart such as a towel, personal objects, clothes, or your own hand can spread the virus. Other causes for flat warts are when the virus enters through a cut on your skin. This does not mean that the flat wart will stay in one location, but can spread to other areas of the body.

Where Can Flat Warts Show Up?

Flat warts are much smaller than other forms of warts and are especially smooth on the top. These type of warts are slightly raised from the base of your skin and are sometimes extremely hard to nice. However, they come in large groups making them look bigger than they actually are which is usually between 1-3 millimeters in diameter. Flat warts can grow in groups of 20 to 200 warts in the same spot while maintaining a yellowish brown or pinkish color. These warts usually appear around a scratch or break in your skin. For example, men may get them more often in the beard area from shaving while women may get them around their legs.

Flat Warts Pictures

When to See a Doctor

If you are unable to identify correctly the bumps on your skin are, you may want to see your doctor. It is always best to get a professional look at the issues that come with your health due to the fact that your well-being is at stake. Thus, a doctor can diagnose you in the most efficient and accurate way possible. Usually a doctor can see a flat wart by their appearance. If they are unable to identify it off the appearance, your doctor may want to perform a biopsy or refer you to a dermatologist. In either situation, a doctor will rapidly help you understand the bump on your skill then you alone.

If you begin to see the flat wart to grow larger, change colour, or bleed, you must see a doctor as soon as possible.

Flat Warts Treatment- How to Get Rid of Flat Warts

Unlike other warts, flat warts usually disappear on their own and require no treatment. However, you may want to receive some treatment to speed up the process. Flat warts appear on the face or hand, thus, making it harder to provide any sort of intense treatment as it will do more damage than help. These damages include scars or lingering marks that are not preferable to many. If you decide to treat your flat warts, here are some options that can speed up your recovery time in a positive way:

Freezing Treatments (Dr.Scholls Freeze Away Wart Remover)

Freezing treatment is a proven method used by professional doctors and highly recommended in the medical community to those looking for a quick and safe process for removing warts. Dr.Scholl’s Freeze Away Wart Remover uses two different mechanisms that help remove flat warts in any area of the body. These two mechanisms are Freeze Therapy and Fast Acting Liquid. It initially rapidly freezes the wart tissue which helps break down the wart. After, the liquid uses salicylic acid to destroy the wart tissue by softening the skin and allowing the outer layer of skin to fall off. If you are looking to remove warts quickly, this is definitely a great option.

A great article with a lot of information about this can be found here: Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away Skin Tag Removal Kit.

If you’d like to purchase the product you can do so from Amazon.

Wart Stick

Wart sticks use the same type of chemical compound to eliminate warts: salicylic acid. Unlike the other products, the wart stick goes on the infected area dry. It is completely painless and odorless while extremely easy to use. Although results may not be as quick as other remedies, the wart stick is a product you can use on the go.

If you’d like to purchase the product you can do so from Amazon.

Homeopathic Quick Dissolving Pellets (Boiron Thuja Occidentalis)

If you are not looking to find any remedies that require actual application to the skin, Homeopathic medicine that are ingested are a good way of relieving flat warts. The one thing you must keep in mind is that you have to take it at the first sign of symptoms arising from warts. The Boiron Thuja Occidentalis is a non-drowsy, no known side effect or drug interaction medicine that uses highly diluted natural substances to relieve symptoms. This is one way of removing warts through ingestion that other products have not done.

If you’d like to purchase the product you can do so from Amazon.

Wart Remover Salicylic Acid- Compound W

Much like the Dr.Scholl’s Freeze Away Wart Remover, the Compound W Salicylic Acid removes warts by using salicylic acid to soften the skin. It basically utilizes the second step process of the product above without using freeze therapy, most commonly known as cryotherapy. This product is a recommended brand by pharmacist and dermatologist due to the fact that it is safe, fast, and efficient in penetrating and removing warts painlessly.

If you’d like to purchase the product you can do so from Amazon.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a healthy alternative to removing warts on those with more delicate skin. If you are looking to damage your skin minimally and take a route that is 100% pure and natural, tea tree oil is the way to go. Tea tree oil is a natural fungal infection treatment that rejuvenates the skin. Although some products are more expensive, this is a healthy way of removing warts while maintaining great skin.

Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Flat Warts

Natural home remedies are sometimes better than actual products designed to get rid of flat warts. This is due to the fact that products you have at home do exactly the same thing, but just eliminates the need for you to go out of your way to find something to help. However, because flat warts often occur in large numbers and on the face, it is important to consult your doctor before using a home remedy that might burn or leave a scar on your skin. Thus, remember that many home remedies are meant for individual warts and not groups of them. In this section, we list some natural home remedies you can use to get rid of flat warts without the need to go to your nearest pharmacy:

Green Tea

Using green tea is a great way of removing flat warts due to it being a powerful antioxidant while being completely natural. The best way to remove flat warts with green tea is drinking about 2-3 cups a day and applying the green tea bag on the affected area for a few minutes. Repeating this process for a week will help the wart dry up and fall off your skin. This is an efficient and healthy process of removing warts.

Duct Tape

Another way to remove flat warts is to place a piece of duct tape on the affected area and leave it on for a couple days. Then, swiftly remove the duct tape and rub the affected area with natural oil. This helps make the wart disappear. To secure this method, soaking the wart with water can help soften the skin and keep yourself clean. This is a process that is not highly recommended when it comes to flat warts as there are more than one wart. Thus, make sure to consult your doctor before proceeding with this remedy.


Garlic is an inexpensive home remedy that can effectively remove a wart due to its antiviral potency. Garlic fights viruses and stops any potential growth in virus cells. Applying certain garlic extracts such as chloroform garlic has proven to help remove warts. Find a piece of garlic in your home and slice It into small chunks. After, gently rub it on the wart for a couple minutes. This will help the wart disappear gradually due to garlic’s phenomenal chemical compound.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar is known as the best bacteria killer when it comes to home remedies. It contains acetic acid that is very similar to that of salicylic acid, a chemical used in the remedies above. By applying apple cider vinegar on the affected area, it will burn through the infected skin making the wart fall off. Moreover, apple cider vinegar will boost your immune system to fight off the viruses causing the wart to occur. The safest way to using vinegar is to have one-part water and two-part apple cider vinegar. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution onto the wart. Leaving it overnight will be most effective.

Should I Get Surgery to Remove Flat Warts?

Surgery is usually not recommended or even used as method of removing flat warts. Home remedies as well as doctor approved medicine and prescription is enough to remove flat warts. You should only get a surgery if the wart does not respond to any over-the-counter treatments or home remedies, symptoms of warts worsen, and when your direct physician advices surgery.

Are Flat Warts Contagious?

Flat warts are contagious when a person has either had skin-to-skin contact with a person who has warts, touched an object that has come into contact with a wart, have cuts or scrapes, practices poor hygiene, or has a weakened immune system that has difficulty fighting off viruses. This is purely because flat warts are an HPV and can affect anyone who has contact with the virus. However, flat warts are commonly found in children or young adults.

Flat Warts Prevention

HPV is highly contagious, but there are ways to prevent the virus from spreading. Such preventions include:

  • refraining from rubbing, scratching, or picking at warts
  • always cleaning your hands
  • keeping yourself clean
  • not sharing products that have come into contact with the wart
  • not touching another person’s wart
  • avoiding any form of liquid that has come into contact with the wart or affected person

Although these preventions help, a person may still contract HPV due to its contagious composition.

What Happens If You Cut Off a Wart?

You should avoid cutting off a wart because it does not actually remove the wart. A wart is an HPV which means that just because you remove the physical symptoms of the virus doesn’t mean you have removed the virus. By cutting off a wart, you don’t help the situation, you actually make it worse because you may create scars and spread the wart even more. Thus, it is best to use remedies or prescriptions given to you by your doctor than trying to remove the wart by cutting it off.

Do Removed Warts Grow Back?

Treatment of warts on the skin that are successful usually mean the warts are gone for good. Your body’s immune system will adapt and can usually get rid of any tiny bits of wart that may linger after the treatment. However, there is no distinctive cure for HPV which makes it hard to determine if they come back or not. For example, genital warts are more likely to come back because there’s no cure for the virus and warts are more difficult to control in moist environments. However, flat warts are likely to go away on their own and should not cause complications to your day-to-day life.

Wart Removed? Aftercare Help & Advice

After the consistent use of treatment whether prescribed or use of home remedy, the affected area may look lighter in color. Do not worry as it will take a couple weeks to months for the treated area to return to a normal shade of color. The best way to prevent future flat warts is to not come into contact with those that have flat warts. More importantly, to keep your skin healthy and free of cuts and scrapes is an effective way of preventing them from returning. Follow the preventions above to help yourself not to go through the ordeal of dealing with warts again.

Warts vs. Skin Tags

It is a common mistake to associate skin tags as the same as warts. However, skin tags are extremely small flaps of skin that develop due to friction. These commonly appear around areas that have contact with other things such as clothes. For example, many find skin tags around their neck due to the collar of their shirt rubbing against the skin. Skin tags cause a lot of irritation but they normally fall off on their own. If it causes to much irritation, you can always contact your immediate physician or dermatologist to get it removed.

Warts are caused by an actual infection on the outer layer of the skin due to HPV. Warts are bumps in the skin that can grow to different sizes. Flat warts especially come in large groups while skin tags do not. Warts require treatment because of its association with an actual virus, but the wart itself will disappear on its own while the HPV will linger in your system. It may take a couple years for the HPV to get out of your system making it likely for warts to return.

What are Other Types of Warts?

There are several different kinds of warts that all feature different shapes and appearances to one another. They also appear in different parts of the body:

Common warts- These most often occur around the hands and are very rough in texture, shaped like a dome and have a gray-brown hue.

Plantar warts- Unlike common warts, these grow on the soles of your feet and are extremely hard, thick, and dark. People who have plantar warts usually find themselves uncomfortable walking due to the pain.

Filiform warts- these grow on the face, around the mouth, nose, or chin. Although they have the same colour as your skin, filiform warts have a thread-like growth sticking out of them.

Periungual warts- These usually get mistaken for common warts but are ones that appear around the fingernails and toenails.

Genital warts- these are soft growths that appear around the genitals for both men and women. They are categorized as sexually transmitted infections (STI) caused by a certain strain of the HPV. These usually cause pain, discomfort, and itching. Genital warts are especially dangerous for women because some types of HPV can cause cancer of the cervix and vulva.

About the Writer

Q-Nahm Park is a digital content writer, teacher, artist, and a creative director. When it comes to health, Q-Nahm Park focuses on utilizing a healthy diet, exercise, and routine to improve mental health. Using his creative mind, Q-Nahm Park exudes a positive presence in making dreams come to life through either his writing or artistic ventures. He is a student at University of Toronto, St. George campus approaching his final years of higher education.

Last updated on September 3rd, 2020 Team

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