Although HPV isn’t curable, genital warts are treatable. You can also go extended periods of time without an outbreak, but it’s not possible to get rid of the warts forever. That’s because genital warts are only a symptom of HPV, which is a chronic, lifelong infection. Even with treatment, warts may come back in the future.
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Chemical peels: When flat warts appear, there are usually many warts. Because so many warts appear, dermatologists often prescribe “peeling” methods to treat these warts. This means, you will apply a peeling medicine at home every day. Peeling medicines include salicylic acid (stronger than you can buy at the store), tretinoin, and glycolic acid.
Jump up ^ Stubbings A, Wacogne I (September 2011). “Question 3. What is the efficacy of duct tape as a treatment for verruca vulgaris?”. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 96 (9): 897–99. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2011-300533. PMID 21836182.
There is no treatment that can eradicate HPV infection, so the only treatment is to remove the lesions caused by the virus. Unfortunately, even removal of the warts does not necessarily prevent the spread of the virus, and genital warts frequently recur. None of the available treatment options is ideal or clearly superior to others.
Warts are caused by viruses and can appear anywhere on the body. Those that show up in the genital area are caused by the human papillomavirus, commonly called HPV, and are easily transmitted by sexual contact.
While visible genital warts often go away with time, the virus cannot be eliminated once it is in your bloodstream. This means you may have several outbreaks over the course of your life. This makes managing symptoms important because you want to prevent transmitting the virus to others. Genital warts can be passed on to others even when there are no visible warts or other symptoms.
In fact, HPV is so common that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that most sexually active people get it at some point — the key difference is whether the virus leads to complications like genital warts.
When correctly used, condoms decrease the risk of STDs. Latex condoms provide greater protection than natural-membrane condoms. The female condom, made of polyurethane, is also considered effective at preventing STDs. However, condoms can’t fully protect someone against genital warts because HPV can infect areas that aren’t covered by a condom.
“Crabs” is the common term for lice that set up shop in pubic hair. The term comes from the shape of the tiny parasites, which look very different from head or body lice. The creatures crawl from one person to another during close contact. Pubic lice can be killed with over-the-counter lotions.
There are two types of HPV vaccine. Both types help protect against the HPV strains that are most likely to cause cervical cancer. One type also helps protect against the HPV strains that are most likely to cause genital warts.
Hepatitis B is a stealthy virus that can cause severe liver damage. It spreads through contact with blood and other body fluids. People can be infected through sex, needle sharing, and at birth, as well as by sharing razors and toothbrushes. There is no cure, but drugs can keep the virus in check. There’s also an effective vaccine to prevent hepatitis B.
Plantar warts can develop on any part of the foot. As the callus and wart get larger, walking can become painful, much like walking with a pebble in your shoe. When pressure from standing or walking pushes a plantar wart beneath the skin’s surface, a of thick, tough skin similar to a callus develops over it. Sometimes dark specks are visible beneath the surface of the wart.
Women who have been diagnosed with genital warts may need to have Pap smears every 3 to 6 months after their initial treatment to monitor any changes in the cervix. This is because certain types of HPV that cause genital warts are also associated with cervical cancer and precancerous changes in the cervix.
Your health care provider usually diagnoses genital warts by seeing them. The warts might disappear on their own. If not, your health care provider can treat or remove them. HPV stays in your body even after treatment, so warts can come back.
“You want to do a few things,” Landa said. “First, avoid smoking, and if you smoke, quit smoking. Second, avoid oral contraceptives. Studies show that the birth control pill can increase your likelihood of HPV turning into cancer.”
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