Filiform warts are caused by the transmission of the human papillomavirus (HPV). More than 100 strains of HPV exist but only a few cause filiform warts [source: Merck]. Common forms of HPV transmission include:
- Touch -- HPV (and warts) can spread between people when one person touches a wart or an HPV-infected area on another person. It can also spread from one area of the body to another when a person first touches an infected area, then touches another part of his or her body. HPV can spread especially quickly through areas of broken skin [source: Mayo Clinic].
- Shared clothing -- HPV can spread through clothing, towels and other fabrics that have come into contact with a wart or another infected area [source: Mayo Clinic].
- Contact through objects -- HPV can live in environments such as shower floors, concrete surrounding pools and even shoes [source: University of Toronto]. Contact with HPV left behind on these surfaces can lead to transmission of the virus.
Not everyone who comes into contact with HPV will develop warts. Some people are more likely than others to develop warts after contact with HPV. Cuts and abrasions that allow HPV to get under the skin's protective barrier can increase the chance of wart growth. Those with weak immune systems are more susceptible to developing warts than those who experience prolonged, repeated exposure to HPV. Sometimes, people can come into direct contact with HPV, and even carry and transmit the virus themselves, but never get a wart.
People who develop filiform warts have several options for treatment and removal. Although many home remedies and medicines are well-advertised, the best option is always to consult with a doctor first. Read on to find out why.