Warts are normal lumps that occur on the surface of the skin of the hands and feet. It is the same as the colour of your skin or may be red in colour and is benign or non-cancerous. Warts are basically caused by a virus called HPV or Human Papilloma Virus. This causes keratin which is the hard protein on the top most layer of the skin to thicken and roughen to form a wart. Warts are commonly seen in children and teenagers and are not so commonly found in adults. People with atopic eczema or those with weak immune systems are most likely to get warts. There are almost 10 different types of warts; some of them are:
- Common Wart or Verruca Vulgaris
- Flat wart or Verruca Plana
- Filiform Wart or Digitate wart
- Genital Wart
- Mosaic Wart
- Periungual wart
- Plantar Wart.
What are Filiform Warts?
Filiform warts, also known as facial warts, are growths on the superficial layer of the skin. This happens when a virus called Human Papilloma Virus infects a person. Filiform warts got its name precisely because it appears in the shape of a Filiform. The virus strain 1, 2, 4, 27 and 29 are the ones that affect people. Usually it is found to appear on the face, eyelids, lips and neck. Either one pops up or many might pop up at a time, depending on the severity of the virus. Sometimes it can also be seen near the legs and in the axillary region. The virus multiplies to form a thick wart and then treatment is a must lest it spreads and causes pain and embarrassment.
Symptoms of Filiform Warts
Following are the symptoms of filiform warts:
- Benign growth appears on the face, neck and few other areas.
- Filiform wart can be asymptomatic and can be long.
- Filiform wart Patients complain of symptoms of itching and bleeding in those areas.
- There is a risk of Filiform wart spreading to other parts of the body.
- It is painless; however, in the area where the skin rubs against each other, the filiform warts get sore and irritable.
Are Filiform Warts Contagious?
Filiform Warts are contagious in nature and can spread to people around in the following ways:
- Filiform Wart Can Spread Through Touch: If the wart is touched by somebody, there is a high likelihood of it spreading. Similarly, if one part of the body is infected, the patient must take care to see that the area doesn't come in contact with other parts of the body since it spreads easily. Broken skin should be quickly taken care of as HPV might easily rest in that region.
- Sharing of Clothes or Towels Can Spread Filiform Warts: HPV immediately spreads if another individual uses anything touched by the affected person be it clothes or a towel. Therefore, make sure to see that the individuals' clothes are not used by anyone else or the virus spreads.
- An HPV affected person can spread the virus to a healthy person if both share the same shower or shower floor or are near the concrete area around the pool side. Cuts and abrasions easily make way for the HPV virus to get in. Hence, beware of such places otherwise you will end up being affected by HPV.
Another fact is that everyone who gets in touch with this virus doesn't necessarily develop filiform warts but becomes a carrier and might simply pass it on to others without being infected by it. The reason why they might not have got infected is because they possess a strong immune system. People with a weak immune system are susceptible to attack form this virus.
Causes of Filiform Warts
There are few notable causes of the occurrence of filiform warts and they are:
- Warm and Moist Skin Surface Can Cause Filiform Warts: The virus tends to grow on the epidermis of the skin that is warm and is exposed to moisture. Normally butchers, sea divers and people who are constantly in water are the ones to be mostly affected by this virus.
- Personal Hygiene: Sharing of same skin care products, clothes or any other objects is a strict no as the chances of the virus getting transmitted is huge.
- Footwear: Avoid using the same footwear that an infected person is using. You never know when you would get yourself infected by it.
- Weak Immune System: A weak immune system coupled with cuts and abrasions on the skin puts you at risk of catching an infection.
Diagnosis of Filiform Warts
There is no specific diagnostic test as such but the structure and symptoms tell you if you contracted this virus. The physician diagnoses filiform warts based on the symptoms of filiform warts.
Treatment of Filiform Warts
- Topical Creams to Treat Filiform Warts: These creams have salicylic acid that helps in strengthening the immune system. Trichloroacetic acid is another application that helps in treating filiform warts.
- Cryo-therapy: In this, liquid nitrogen is used to stop the growth of this virus. The area needs to be bandaged and the dead skin cells should be removed after a week. Many sessions are needed to eradicate the wart completely. If any reaction takes place, the freezing process is done gradually over a specific period of time.
- Laser Removal: Another recommended method is Laser removal. It is safe and doesn't leave behind scars. It is also cost effective and difficult warts are easily removed through a laser treatment.
- Cantharidine solution is also applied as an alternate therapy to treat filiform warts.
- Sometimes, a minor surgery may be performed with a scalpel or electric needle to uproot the filiform wart.
- For extensive warts, systematic retinoid is done.
Home Remedies for Filiform Warts
- Boosting Immune System to Deal with Filiform Warts: Consuming astragalus, elderberry, olive leaf, Vitamin C, Zinc, turmeric and cat's claw can help you deal with the virus causing filiform warts more quickly.
- Pineapple Slice for Treating Filiform Warts: Cut a pineapple slice and apply it over the wart. The acids and enzymes will kill the virus quickly making it an effective home remedy for filiform warts.
- Garlic Paste to Treat Filiform Warts: Garlic has always found a place in home remedies because of its' multi-purpose usage. It is a very good and effective home remedy to treat filiform warts. Make a paste of garlic and water and apply it on the warts and make sure to bandage the region.
- Home Remedy for Filiform Warts Using Baking Powder and Castor Oil Paste: Baking powder mixed with castor oil can be applied at night and again the area should be covered to avoid any other virus attack and pollutants.
- Powdered Vitamin C or E tablet Paste to Treat Filiform Warts: Get Vitamin C or Vitamin E tablets or capsules. Powder or crush it and mix it with water and apply on the affected region and cover the area with a cloth or a bandage.
- Powder of Aspirin Tablet for Filiform Warts: Powder an Aspirin tablets and make a paste with water and apply. Repeat it for several nights until the area is perfectly healed.
- Tea Tree-oil Home Remedy for Treating Filiform Warts: The benefits of this multi-purpose oil are enormous. The antibacterial formula of tea-tree oil fights against the virus causing HPV. You can add clove or frankincense oil along with tea tree oil to increase its healing power.
- Bee Propolis or Aloe Vera for Filiform Warts: Either fresh Bee propolis or Aloe Vera can also be directly applied to the Filiform warts. This is a good home remedy as the natural extracts heal the area completely.
In the recent time, there is a vaccine to prevent one from being infected by the HPV virus. People with a weak immune system must definitely consider this option. It is not a serious disease that cannot be handled with care; rather, proper medications and therapeutic treatment leads to a healthy lifestyle that allows staying away from Filiform Warts.