Warts are a common skin condition that affects millions of people each year. The human papillomavirus is the virus that is responsible for the development of warts. This virus is very common, and it is spread from person to person easily. Children and teens are more susceptible to warts than adults because their immune system has not built up an immunity to HPV. Warts can appear anywhere on the body, but the most embarrassing place to have warts is on the face.
What is a Filiform Wart?
Most individuals are familiar with common warts like the ones that appear on the hands and fingers. These cauliflower shaped bumps can be annoying and sometimes very hard to eliminate.
Filiform warts are a type of wart that many are not familiar with. These warts do not have the customary round or oval shape with the cauliflower appearance. Instead, filiform warts resemble tiny twigs or branches1 that are growing out of the skin. A Filiform wart are usually flesh colored. These types of warts can appear in clusters because they are so easily spread from one area of the skin to another.
Where do Filiform Warts Appear?
Filiform warts are often referred to as facial warts. The most common target for filiform warts on the face is the neck, lips and eyelids. Symptoms of these types of wart include itching or bleeding.
Filiform warts will appear where there is friction against the skin. For example, constant rubbing of the eyes could cause a filiform wart on eyelid. The neck is also a prime target for filiform warts because skin rubs against skin in this area. These types of warts can spread rapidly, and they can increase in size if left untreated.
The specific strains of HPV that produce facial warts are strains one, two, four, twenty-seven and twenty-nine. Filiform warts can be spread to others by direct contact or by touching an object that an infected person has touched. However, not all individuals will get warts. Some people have a strong immune system that eliminates the HPV virus as soon as it enters the body.
Filiform Wart Treatment
Over the counter wart removers may not be suitable on filiform warts. These treatments can be harsh to use around the eyes or on the face. There are creams available like Amoils found here that are made from natural ingredients. These wart creams may be safe to use on the face, but always double check and follow the instructions. However, any filiform warts on eyelids should be treated by a doctor.
Anyone who has facial warts must be careful not to scratch the surface of the wart. This could spread the virus to other areas of the face. Never share personal grooming items such as razors or towels. The HPV virus can live on these objects, and it can be spread easily to others.
Filiform Wart Removal
There are several methods a doctor may use for filiform wart removal. One method may be as simple as cutting the warts off with a sharp scalpel2 or a pair of scissors. This method could produce bleeding, or it may leave a scar. It will also increase the risk of the HPV virus spreading to other areas of the body.
Liquid nitrogen is another method the doctor may use to get rid of filiform warts. Liquid nitrogen will be applied so that approximately 2 mm of the skin around the wart turns white. Once the skin thaws in about 20 to 30 seconds it is damaged. In a couple of days, blisters will form where the wart is. Once these blisters dry up the doctor may need to cut away the dead tissue that is left behind. Individuals with dark skin may develop white spots with this method of treatment.
Electrosurgery and curettage2 is a popular filiform wart removal treatment. Under local anesthetic, an electric current through a needle is placed on the wart to burn it and then the wart is removed by curetting the wart with a sharp knife or spoon shaped tool.
Filiform warts that are on the eyelids will need to be removed surgically by a doctor. However, whenever these types of warts are cut away it puts an individual at risk for developing more warts. Sometimes if the eyelid wart is not interfering with eyesight, the doctor will choose to leave it alone.
Anyone who has the HPV virus should eat healthy and get plenty of exercise. A strong immune system is the only thing that can kill this virus. Individuals who take the necessary steps to build a powerful immune system will be able to get rid of their warts faster and easier.
1 – Merckmanuals
3 – Web MD