HPV can be a tricky STD to understand. It’s the most common STD, but most of the time it goes away on its own. Sometimes certain types of “high-risk” HPV can develop into cancer if left untreated. Other “low-risk” types of HPV can cause warts on your vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, anus, penis or scrotum. Genital warts are common — about 360,000 people get them each year.
Side effects from the vaccines are usually mild and include soreness at the injection site (the upper arm), headaches, low-grade fever or flu-like symptoms. Sometimes dizziness or fainting occurs after the injection, especially in adolescents.
Testing for HPV regularly is also important. Most HPV strains are asymptomatic and, to make things more complicated, their incubation period can be anywhere from weeks to months.6 If the virus is detected during a regular screening session, you can immediately undergo treatment to symptoms from developing, or keep it from spreading to your partner unknowingly.
Aerosol wart treatments that are available over the counter use sprays that freeze warts at a temperature of minus 90 F (minus 57 C). This compares with the liquid nitrogen used by most dermatologists, which is considerably colder (minus 320 F or minus 196 C). The over-the-counter products do not work nearly as well as the colder agents applied by a doctor.
Warts are skin growths that are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 60 kinds of HPV, some of which tend to cause warts on the skin. HPV stimulates quick growth of cells on the skin’s outer layer. In most cases, common warts appear on the fingers, near the fingernails, or on the hands. Certain types of HPV can also cause warts to appear in the genital area.
If your wart was treated with liquid nitrogen, laser therapy, or surgical removal, apply local wound care. Local wound care includes keeping the area covered with a sterile bandage, applying an antibiotic ointment, and looking for signs of an infection.
Your doctor may want to administer the first application of podofilox, and will recommend precautionary steps to prevent the medication from irritating surrounding skin. Never apply podofilox internally. Additionally, this medication isn’t recommended for use during pregnancy. Side effects can include mild skin irritation, sores or pain.
Warts are local growths in the skin caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. There are over 100 types of HPV. Some HPV types infect the genital and oral mucosa and produce large masses, some of which may become cancerous. Other HPV types are responsible for benign common skin warts that are not associated with cancer. Although warts are considered to be contagious, it is not uncommon for just one family member to have them. In addition, they often affect just one part of the body (such as the hands or the feet), but they can be spread to other areas by picking them. The form taken by the wart infection seems to be dependent on the genetic type of the wart virus and its anatomical location. For example, the same type of wart virus can cause common hand warts as well as plantar warts.
Sometimes, warts may recur after treatment and more than one type of treatment may be necessary. Although practitioners attempt to clear warts quickly, most methods require multiple treatments. Treatments may include:
Some types of genital warts – usually the smaller ones – are easier to treat than others. Similarly, warts growing on moist skin tend to respond better to treatment than those located on dry skin. Most types of warts can be treated with creams such as Condyline and Aldara. However, should the warts be persistent you need to see a dermatologist consider other treatment options such as surgically removing them, using cryosurgery (freezing off the warts with liquid nitrogen) or laser treatment.
Warticon is a cream that also contains podophyllotoxin – the same plant extract found in condyline. You put Warticon cream directly on the warts. Because it works best on small clusters of warts, by dissolving them and stopping them multiplying, it is normal to experience some skin irritation during treatment.
Chanchroid is a bacterial STD that is common in Africa and Asia but rare in the U.S. It causes genital sores that can spread the bacteria from one person to another. Antibiotics can cure the infection.
Condoms are the most effective way to avoid getting genital warts. However, they do not provide 100% protection as HPV can spread by skin-to-skin contact around the genital area not covered by the condom.1
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A. Yes, and the average length of an infection is just six months in men, with 75% of infections clearing up in a year. The warts, however, are your souvenir of the experience. They have to be medically removed. Do not, by the way, use bloodroot or similar herbal products to get rid of genital warts. They will also remove tissue in the penis-and may not totally get rid of the virus even when they do!
“Try to keep skin healthy and moisturized to avoid having open cuts or fissures in the skin, which would provide a portal for the virus to get into the skin,” says Sandra Johnson, MD, a dermatologist in Fort Smith, Ark.
Biopsy of cervical tissue ( if abnormal pap smear or visible abnormality) to make sure there are no abnormal cells that could develop into HPV-related cervical cancer; a cervical biopsy involves taking a small sample of tissue from the cervix and examining it under a microscope.
The following topical creams must be applied by a physician as application may be painful, or have side effects. These creams can treat areas that are difficult to access, or remove a large area of warts quickly.
Determine if surgical excision is the right option. For this option, your doctor will cut the wart out with a scalpel. For a minimal number of small warts, your doctor will inject 1% lidocaine anesthesia to numb the area. However, general anesthesia may be used for more extensive cases. Your doctor may suture the two sides of healthy skin back together depending on the size of the excised wart.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and bichloracetic acid (BCA) are both physician-applied treatments. Your doctor will apply the acid to the warts on a cotton ball. Your doctor may advise weekly treatment for up to four to six weeks. This is one of the most common treatments.
Plantar warts (verrucae plantaris): Plantar warts, by definition, occur on the plantar surface, or bottom, of the foot. They usually occur in high-pressure areas such as the heel and the metatarsal heads (just behind the toes). Plantar warts usually grow into the skin, not outward like common warts. This growing into the skin makes plantar warts more difficult to treat.