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How to Remove a Filiform Wart

by
author image Tess Miller
Tess Miller has been a freelance writer since 2002. Her work has appeared in "The Front Range Review" and "Memoirs INK." She has worked in the nonprofit sector as a grant writer, fundraiser and literacy advocate. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in health and human services from the University of Massachusetts.
How to Remove a Filiform Wart
Though warts will usually go away without treatment, you may choose to treat them to avoid embarrassment. Photo Credit closeup of woman pulling hair away from face image by nextrecord from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Filiform warts are long, thin, flesh-colored warts that can grow on the face, eyelids, neck or lips. Filiform warts form when a strain of the human papiloma virus, or HPV virus, causes the top layer of the skin to grow too rapidly. While highly contagious and unattractive in appearance, this type of wart is benign, painless and often responds well to treatment.

Step 1

Consult your doctor to diagnose your warts. Pediatric dermatologist Julian Verbov says that, in approximately 30 percent of cases, warts will go away on their own and do not always require treatment. If you do choose to treat filiform warts, you will need the assistance of a doctor or other medical professional. While it is possible to treat other types of warts at home, it is important not to attempt to remove filiform warts on your own. Over-the-counter wart removal products contain salicylic acid, an acid that destroys healthy skin along with the wart. Salicylic acid is not considered safe for use on the face, lips, eyes, neck and other sensitive areas where filiform warts form.

Step 2

Talk to your doctor about freezing your filiform warts with liquid nitrogen. Your doctor will place a small amount of liquid nitrogen on the wart that will eventually cause it to fall off. You will likely need several liquid nitrogen treatments to kill the underlying virus. According to pediatrician Dr. Jeffrey Hull, warts do not penetrate the top layer of the skin, so freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen is not likely to cause scarring.

Step 3

Ask your doctor to surgically remove your filiform wart. Using a small surgical instrument, your doctor can scrape the wart away. While effective, removing a wart in this way can cause the virus to spread and may lead to scarring. For these reasons, some doctors consider surgery less desirable then other options for eradicating warts.

Step 4

Consult your doctor about injecting your filiform wart with a substance that generates an immune response. If the treatment works, your body will respond by killing the HPV virus that causes the warts. This treatment may be expensive, and according to Cigna Healthwise, it is generally considered a last resort to treat stubborn warts.

Step 5

Burn warts off with laser treatments or electrosurgery. Your doctor or dermatologist can use a beam of light or an electrical current to remove your wart. Laser treatments and electrosurgery may leave scars, so depending on the location of your warts, you may want to consider a less invasive option.

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