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Facial Warts | Filiform Warts

Warts are an almost universal problem; ugly and sometimes painful growths that can occur on many parts of the body.   Each one is named after its clinical appearance and location.  Filiform warts are long, narrow, frond-like and flesh colored growths that can occur on their own or as clusters around the eyelids, face, neck, or lips.  And their growth can be rapid (Stulberg D, Hutchinson A.  Molluscum Contagiosum and Warts.  American Family Physician  2003; 67 (6): 1233-40).

 
filiform warts

Alternate names:  facial warts, facial wart

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

       Image from Health-pictures.com

 

Causes

A filiform wart is a variation of the common wart and is caused by the human papilloma virus strains 1, 2, 4, 27, and 29.They replicate in the warm moist skin epidermis which causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, forming a wart.  Filiform warts are also infectious and can be spread by sharing towels or facial products.  Touching a facial wart puts a person at risk of spreading it to other parts of the body.  Warts will increase in size and number if they are not removed.   You will not get facial warts every time you come into contact with HPV, and some people will never be affected.

Symptoms

Filiform warts, also known as facial warts, are benign, long, brush-like growths that usually occur on the eyelids and surrounding areas, the neck and the lips.  The most common symptoms are itching, bleeding or a person may notice them when they spread elsewhere.  These types of warts are largely painless, although they can become sore and irritable as they tend to be located in places where people rub the skin. 

Treatment

Filiform warts are usually benign and easy to treat.  In order to remove filiform warts, you must make a visit to your doctor.  Do not ever use over the counter wart treatments anywhere on your face or neck!!

 

With many remedies the aim is to illicit an immune response to the presence of the warts.  Topical irritants such as salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid, and 5-fluorouracil can be effective, either on their own or used in conjunction with a more aggressive method such as cryotherapy (where the wart is frozen), surgical excision, or laser light.  The problem with excision is that it can lead to scarring.  Doctors will also consider immunotherapy where a substance is injected into the wart to cause an allergic reaction, though this can sometimes be painful.  Another option is to make a patient allergic to a chemical which is then painted on the wart to cause an allergic reaction.    HPV is nothing if not tenacious, and currently there is no cure for HPV infection.  Most treatments are designed to eradicate signs and symptoms of warts (Lipke, M. An Armamentarium of Wart Treatments.  Clin Med Res. 2006 December; 4 (4): 273-293.) Currently, no single treatment is fully effective in all patients.

 

References for Filiform Warts Information:

 

1.  The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library  The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals

 

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