Filiform Warts – What Are They & How to Best Treat Them?

Warts have different kinds and presentations, and one of them is the filiform wart. Unlike the common warts that grow raised on the skin and have a tiny black speck and plantar warts that grow flat, filiform warts are more visible and have an unusual growth appearance. Filiform warts, also known as facial warts, grow outward, which make them look similar to skin tags. The differences between these two skin problems is that the former group has a rough texture while the latter group is smooth to touch and is not harmful and infectious.

Filiform warts are contagious because they are caused by HPV or human papilloma virus. Strains 1, 2, 4, 27, and 29 are responsible for this infection. This virus can penetrate the epidermis through skin abrasions such as cuts or scratches. The strains can easily replicate and rapidly grow in moist skin, which makes it possible for the formation of warts. The eyelids, lips, neck, and other parts of the face are typical target areas of filiform warts formation. Anyone can be infected through skin-to-skin contact and by sharing of skin products and towels.

Although filiform warts are benign, they are still viral and unpleasant to look at. The worst that can happen to someone who has filiform warts is, he or she might be avoided or shooed away by people due to the contagiousness of the virus. And so, these warts should be treated before they spread out.

First things first, avoid lending facial products such as makeup brushes, mascara, etc. and borrowing clothes and towels from anyone. Not only are these practices unhygienic, but they also increase the possibility of you acquiring warts or other skin diseases.

For treatment, do not use over-the-counter wart removal creams because they may contain hazardous strong chemicals that may have a negative effect on your skin, especially your sensitive facial skin. Take note that you are treating warts on your face so the least you can do is to protect your face from further damage. It is highly recommended to seek professional consultation and treatment for filiform warts removal.

Immunotherapy is the common method in removing filiform warts. This method was first known to treat cancer, but Thomas D. Horn, M.D. and his colleagues in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, have verified its effectiveness to cure warts as well. Other treatments include surgical incision, laser surgery, and cryotherapy. Don’t worry, your dermatologist will explain to you each option and will help you decide which method best fits your condition.