3 Things You Need to Know About Filiform Warts

There are many kinds of warts that can form on your skin, including filiform warts. Here are three things you need to know about filiform warts.

What are the signs of filiform warts?

Filiform warts differ from other types of warts in that they typically form on the face, not the hands or feet. Since they form on your face, they're very noticeable. They are skin-colored, thread-like growths and usually form around the nostrils, eyelids or lips.

These warts look similar to skin tags, which are benign skin tumors that can form on the face. Your dermatologist can examine your growths and tell you if they're filiform warts or skin tags.

What causes filiform warts?

Filiform warts are caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). If these HPV strains come into contact with your skin, a wart could develop. This can happen if you share towels or clothing with a person that already has filiform warts on their face. It can also happen if you touch someone's filiform wart and then touch your own skin. If you have cuts on your face, it's easier for the virus to penetrate your skin, and you're more likely to get a filiform wart.

How can you treat filiform warts?

Since these warts develop on the sensitive skin of your face, avoid trying to treat them at home. Self-treatment can lead to problems like pain and scarring. Instead, head to your dermatologist for professional removal of your filiform warts.

Filiform warts can be easily removed by snipping the base of the wart. This can be painful, so your dermatologist will likely numb the area first with local anesthesia. Since these warts have a narrow base, the resulting scar will be small, and may not be noticeable.

Your dermatologist may also use liquid nitrogen to kill your filiform warts. This procedure needs to be done carefully to ensure that the liquid nitrogen doesn't touch the healthy skin around the wart, as this can lead to blisters or scarring on your face. A hemostat—a type of surgical tool—will be used to apply the liquid nitrogen precisely. The treated wart will die and fall off within seven to ten days, though the treatment may need to be repeated to destroy the wart for good.

If you have filiform warts, don't try to treat them at home. See your dermatologist right away for safe, professional wart removal. You may also want to look at the websites of local cosmetic dermatologists, such as http://ADCderm.com, to see if they're right for you.