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Filiform warts: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Filiform warts (also called papillomas fingerlike) are a particular variant of common warts. They have the characteristic of appearing on the face, with a preference for the edge of the eyelids, lips, chin, and neck. They are formed by long, thin skin projections in the shape of fingers, which give them a distinctive appearance. They are harmless and usually go away without treatment. However, many people prefer to remove them for the aesthetic aspect.

In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain the causes of filiform warts, their treatment (medical and home remedies), and how to prevent their appearance.

Characteristics of filiform warts

Filiform warts have the following characteristics:

  • They are made up of thin projections of skin that can be 1 to 2 millimeters long.
  • They are usually found around the eyes and lips or the chin.
  • They are brown, pink, yellowish, or flesh-colored.
  • They usually appear in isolation, not in groups.

Causes of filiform warts

These warts, like others, are caused mainly by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Some strains of it have been specifically identified. However, people exposed to these same strains do not necessarily develop warts. That is why the presence of HPV as a cause for them is not conclusive.

This virus can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, and the risk of infection is more significant if the infected person’s skin is broken and there is subsequent contact.

Treatment of filiform warts

We will consider both the medical treatment of filiform warts (pharmacological and dermatological) and the home treatment reported to be helpful.

Filiform warts can go away on their own over time. They tend to be more challenging to treat than those found elsewhere on the body, so we cannot apply any abrasive product to the face.

Medical treatment

  • Topical creams: those containing 5-fluorouracil (only in combination with retinoic acid), imiquimod, or benzoyl peroxide facilitates the removal of warts from the skin.
  • Excision: consists of cutting warts with a scalpel, also taking a small portion of healthy skin.
  • Burn it: the wart is burned with a laser or electrosurgical unit, and then the skin remains are removed.
  • Cryotherapy: consists of applying liquid nitrogen to the wart, with the same previous effect. It can be painful.
  • Cantharidin: This chemical causes a blister to form under the wart, destroying it.

If the wart does not respond to the above treatments, it may be necessary to:

  • Laser treatments.
  • Chemical peels.
  • Immunotherapy.

Home remedies

There is insufficient research on home remedies to show that they work. Filiform warts appear in sensitive areas, and removing them with these can cause scarring.

  • Salicylic acid . Using a cotton swab, apply a product containing this chemical to the wart. Soften the wart by soaking the area in warm water before each application to increase effectiveness. It takes several weeks.
  • Apple cider vinegar . It contains acetic acid, which can reduce and eventually eliminate it. Soak a cotton swab in apple cider vinegar and place it on the wart. Take care of the healthy skin around you because it can burn it.

If the wart is accompanied by itching, bleeding, and irritation, see your doctor.

How to prevent filiform warts

Since the introduction of the HPV vaccine, most of the conditions caused by this virus can be avoided. The indication is to give the vaccine to anyone who has not been vaccinated and is over 14 years of age, reducing the age range if there is a risk of infection. However, for the person who has already contracted it, its application does not make sense.

In addition, using a condom during sexual intercourse increases prevention, although obviously, the safety will be maximum if you have a single sexual partner.

So far, HPV does not have a known definitive treatment, so the orientation is fundamentally towards preventing and minimizing its manifestations.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Filiform warts: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .

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