- What are HPV Warts?
- HPV Warts Symptoms
- HPV Warts Types
- HPV Warts Treatment
- Laser treatment
What are HPV Warts?
HPV warts are caused by an infection with the virus HPV and are extremely common. HPV virus infects approximately 50% of individuals who have sex at some time in their lives. Most often, individuasl do not have any symptoms and the infection normally will go away on their own. Several kinds of HPV lead to cancer of the anus or penis as well as cervical cancer.
HPV viruses are sexually-transmitted and are spread thru any contact with genital skin which is infected as well as mucous membranes, or bodily fluids. They are passed thru oral sex as well as intercourse. HPV can cause skin infections on any skin which is not usually covered by a condom – so using a condom does not always protect the individual from these viruses. There are many individuals who do not understand that they are infected with HPV and have no symptoms, so neither of the partners in sex will realize that they are spreading the virus.
HPV Warts Symptoms
Below are symptoms which an individual needs to know about genital HPV infection.
The HPV virus usually lives in mucous membranes, for instance genital area, or on the skin. If warts of the genital develop, it is an indication of an infection with HPV. These genital warts have different appearances. They are raised, or flat, pink or flesh colored. There are some that are shaped like cauliflower. Often there is just a single wart, but in other cases or other times – many warts will appear. They are either large or small. They also can be on the anus, scrotum, cervix, penis or thigh. Genital warts can develop weeks or even months after the sexual relations with the person who is infected with HPV virus. That individual may not even realize he or she is infected and responsible for HPV transmission.
Several kinds of genital HPV infections are associated with cancer, such as cervical cancer as well as cancer of the vulva, penis or anus. If an infection occurs with one of these types of virus, precancerous changes will occur in cells in the tissue without causing symptoms.
Basic symptoms include:
- Some small warts not visible to naked eye
- Normally flesh colored
- Occur on genital or genital area
- Grow from less than a millimeter to a few centimeters
- Appear bigger when joined in group
- First symptom is feeling of discomfort
- Can appear in throat, anus, or thigh area
- Appear weeks or months after being infected
- Women more likely than men to get HPV warts
- With women warts appear on moist areas of the genitalia for instance, labia minora or inside of the labia, and on or near the vaginal opening
- Abnormal vaginal discharge with itching
- Can be slight bleeding after intercourse
- With men warts appear on scrotum, penis as well as urethra
- Warts appear as smooth bumps on the penis
- Warts for men are rough bumps near the rectal area
- Uncircumcised men may have a hard time detecting the warts which are beneath the foreskin
- Men can experience itching on genitals as well as anus
- Men discomfort when urinating
HPV Warts Types
HPV is the term which stands for Human Papillomavirus. There are also approximately over 100 viruses in this group which are related. Every HPV virus is given a type or number. The term “papilloma” refers to a type of wart which results from some types of HPV.
It is reported that HPV types 11 and 6 account for 90% of the cases of genital warts. Usually individuals with genital warts are consecutively infected with multiple types of HPV.
Rare types of HPV include 16, 18, 31, 33 and 35 are also associated with genital warts. When a person is infected with a certain type of HPV, the immune system will prevent any symptoms from a recurrent infection with the same type of HPV, but, developing this immunity to one type does not immune against any other types of HPV.
HPV Warts Treatment
There are numerous medications for the treatment of genital warts as well as can be also used as an alternative to other treatments. Several include:
- Podophyllum resin (Pod-Ben-25, Podofin) – topically applied by healthcare practitioner
- Podofilox (Condylox) – topically applied at home – have a very higher cure rate than podophyllum resin. Can also be used for prevention.
- Trichloroacetic acid or bichloracetic acid – topically applied; but the response is often incomplete and the recurrence rate is high. Can also cause burning and pain.
- 5-Flurouracil (Efudex) – applied as a cream, used for long time treatment, may cause irritation as well as burning and also has many other side effects
- Interferon alpha-n3 (Alferon N) – injection for warts that do not respond to any other therapies; but, it has many side effects.
- Imiquimod (Aldara) – applied as a cream and local irritation of the skin is a common side effect
There is not any single cure for the removal of genital warts. But there are a number of treatment options but no treatment is effective 100% in the elimination of warts as well as preventing recurrence. It is not possible to eliminate HPV infection once it has occurred. Genital warts do in some cases go away on their own in about 10-20 percent of individuals over a period of 3 to 4 months.
This option is the technique of freezing of the wart with liquid nitrogen. It is considered to be an exceptional 1st line treatment since the rates of positive response are high with very limited side effects.
This option is used for widespread or persistent genital warts. It may necessitate local, regional or general anesthesia. The laser extinguishes the HPV abrasion. Shortcomings include enlarged healing time, high cost, scarring as well as possibly infectious viral elements in the air initiated by the laser plume.
With this technique a current of electricity destroys the warts. This procedure is generally completed in the office with anesthesia being local. One problem is that subsequent smoke plume can be infectious.
Surgery can be used to cut the warts away. This can be done as an office method with local anesthesia. It is normally done when the warts are small in number as well as size. Surgical excision or destruction has been much more effective in eliminating genital warts than medical therapies but there is a high recurrence rate of between 25 to 55 percent.