Vaginal Warts & Their Treatment
HPV, STDs and Genital Warts
papillomavirus (HPV) is probably one of the most common STDs (sexually
transmitted diseases) in the world today.
It is contracted from one of more than 100 related HPVs and will infect
more than 6 million people this year alone. HPV infection has the potential to cause
numerous medical problems and each different type of HPV can cause an abnormal
growth on a particular part of the body.
warts, which are sometimes called condylomata acuminate, or venereal warts, are
the most common and easily recognized sign of HPV infection, although many
people have the infection without the warts.
Genital warts and other lesions on or near the genital region or anus, common
warts on the hands, plantar warts on the feet and warts or lesions around the
mouth and upper respiratory system are also commonly associated with HPV. HPV types 6 and 11 are most associated with
conjunctival, nasal, oral and laryngeal warts which are, for the most part
asymptomatic, but at times can be very painful.
treatment focuses on the removal of warts or lesions that cause embarrassment
or pain and the removal of lesions which can lead to cancer. Diagnosis of HPV warts or lesions is based
mostly upon a visual inspection by a medical professional. If the visual inspection does not seem
adequate, it is possible the doctor may put a vinegar solution on the warts
which will, if they are HPV, turn the area white. This type of testing may help in identifying
hard to see flat lesions. There are also
DNA tests which are available in specific cases.
There is no
cure for HPV infections. For the most
part, the body handles the situation through the immune system and often the
warts go away on their own - although the virus does remain in the body. For the cases where the warts remain, there is
a variety of treatments available, either applied at home or by the
doctor. They reduce the concentration of
HPV, but they don't eliminate the virus.
It is still possible to infect someone with HPV after the warts or
lesions are gone.
warts can be treated with Imiquimod (Aldara), a prescription cream medication
which may enhance the immune system to enable it to fight HPV. Podofilox (Condylox), also a cream, may
destroy genital wart tissue.
Trichloroacetic acid is a chemical treatment which burns off genital
warts. Cryotherapy is the freezing of
the warts with liquid nitrogen and electrocautery uses electrical current to
burn off the warts. Surgery and laser
surgery are other options for removal of genital warts.