What are filiform warts?
Different looking than most other warts, filiform warts have long, narrow formations that extend 1-2 millimetres from the skin. They are caused by HPV Virus types 1, 2, 4, 27 and 29 and are also called digitate or facial warts because they’re most commonly found in on the eyelid and the lips.
How do I know I have them?
- Long narrow formations
- Yellow, brown, pink, or skin-toned in color
- Projection from skin can range from 1-2 mm
- Typically isolated, not in clusters
The most common locations for filiform warts:
How do you get them?
Like all warts, filiform warts are transmitted through contact with the HPV Virus, which typically enters your body through a cut or a scratch in your skin. In the case of filiform warts, the virus is typically passed on via skin to skin contact from others or infection by another wart elsewhere on your body.
How are they diagnosed?
As they are found primarily on the face, neck or hands, they are most often diagnosed by a dermatologist. If on the leg, you can see a podiatrist for a diagnosis. Due to their distinctive appearance, they are confidently diagnosed by visual inspection alone.
What treatment options are available?
Because filiform warts are smaller and often in more sensitive areas (eyelids, lips), the harsher treatments need to be ruled out as they may leave scars and are more challenging to administer without peripheral damage. Swift Microwave Therapy, Cryotherapy, Salicylic Acid and Surgical Excision are all options for treatment.
What is the most effective treatment method?
The focus here is really around limiting potential damage, which is linked directly to the location of the wart. The least harsh treatment available is Swift Microwave Therapy as it does not destroy tissue, however you need to avoid treatment near the eyes. A light application of Cryotherapy to avoid scarring or a topical such as Salicylic Acid can also be considered. From a clearance standpoint, Swift has been shown to deliver better results as compared to the other modalities.
What should I do next?’
If you think you have filiform warts, we advise that you seek treatment from a registered dermatologist or podiatrist (if on the leg) who has the option to treat with Swift Microwave Therapy if appropriate. These clinicians will also have other options at their disposal, however those without a Swift Unit will not be able to recommend this treatment. In order to find a clinician offering Swift Microwave Therapy, visit the Swift Clinic Locator.