Warts is a type of skin disease that typically invades the hands, genitals and the feet. Warts are typically skin growths that have a shape, similar to a cauliflower. They are often described as 'big blisters' and are a result of a viral infection. A virus belonging to the human papillomavirus (HPV) family, is responsible for causing this skin infection. It is observed that healing time of lip warts delays in people suffering from compromised immune system. Patients diagnosed with AIDS or put on chemotherapy drugs are the ones in which warts will not go away easily. Intake of beverages such as tea or cold drinks can worsen the discomfort.
- These protruding skin growth can be cauliflower shaped or flat but in some cases they form a mosaic like structure on the affected part of the lip.
- Lip warts, especially cauliflower growths may cause pain and itch tolerably. However, the itchy feeling is likely to aggravate when the infection starts healing.
- The color of these protuberances may vary from yellow, light brown to pink.
- It is observed that a single wart on lip is generally seen near the corners of the mouth. In some patients, warts may appear in clustered format at the corner of the lips and just one wart is visible on the upper lip. A severe viral infection is likely to create larger bumps on lips.
Is Lip Wart Contagious?
This viral infection affecting the lips is highly contagious and spreads through skin-to-skin contact. For instance, in case the patient scratches the affected part of the lip with the fingers and then without washing the hands performs day-to-day activities, the wart is likely to infect another person. One may also contract lip warts by having oral sex with an infected partner.
Sometimes, this viral infection does not require any treatment and may vanish on its own within a few days. However, it all depends on how severe this skin infection actually is. It is discussed below:
Medicines: Over the counter medications have been developed for removal of warts. These medications are basically available as ointment or cream and one can apply them directly on the affected lip. Topical medicines such as dichloroacetic and trichloroacetic acid are useful to get rid of these embarrassing bumps. Bichloroacetic acid is yet another topical medicine that has shown a high success rate in getting rid of this infection.
Salicylic Acid: Topical products in which salicylic acid is an active ingredient can work wonders to speed up healing of warts. This organic acid disintegrates the keratin, a type of protein that forms the tough layer of the wart. It then infiltrates through the inner layers of the warts to destroy the infection.
Freezing: If medications don't work, then freezing is the best remedy to get rid of warts. There are a number of freezing agents available in the market that act as wart remover. Usually, liquid nitrogen is applied for freezing the warts. The application of super chilled liquid nitrogen generates an extremely cold environment in and around the warts. This helps to destroy the cells in the warts. The destruction of warts tissue makes the benign tumor dry and it eventually comes off. Depending upon the size of the warts and severity of the infection, multiple sessions of cryotherapy may be required.
Laser Therapy: For stubborn warts that do not respond to conventional treatment, laser therapy is often recommended to get rid of these lesions fast. Bombardment with pulse dye laser burns or vaporizes them immediately. The destruction of warts, using an intense beam of light, may leave a wound on the lips that generally heals within a few weeks.
Surgical Procedure: People who find it uncomfortable to undergo laser therapy, can opt for surgery. Surgical procedure for warts removal can be done, either by using an electric current (electrosurgery) or simply by cutting the wart (lip lesion). Nowadays, both these procedures are implemented. Firstly, the wart is burnt using electrosurgery and then it is cut to free the lips from the lesion. The procedure has to be performed correctly, otherwise scarring may occur.
Thuja: This is a homeopathic remedy that is found to be effective to terminate the infection. Thuja occidentantalis is an important constituent of quite a few homeopathic creams and ointments. Using these topical skin care products as instructed by a licensed homeopathic practitioner is a proven remedy to kill the warts infection. Ruta, causticum and nitricum acidicum are some of the other suggested homeopathic cures for lip warts.
One should understand that pricking the warts is not a solution to eliminate these fleshy skin growths. This may give rise to a secondary infection, leading to further complications. When pricked, the wart on lip may bleed profusely, thus prolonging the recovery time. Also, when considering usage of over the counter medication, consultation with a well qualified dermatologist is essential. Side effects such as formation of scars can occur due to usage of these over the counter products. Generally, patients go for prescription medicines as they are formulated, keeping in mind, the soft skin on the lips. To know more about warts, read:warts on tongue.
In most cases, the skin infection does not require any surgery and goes away with conservative treatment methods. Doctors often advice to use a warm compress to keep the affected area soft and clean.