Genital warts are the flesh colored growth seen in both men and women in their genital and anal regions. Genital warts can affect both the men and the women at any age.
Genital warts are highly contagious and only single sexual or skin-to-skin contact is enough to infect the normal individual. More than 25% of people with genital warts will have other STDs.
They are very common, usually painless and don’t cause serious threat to health. They are common in sexually active teenagers and young adults. They can be one wart or cluster of warts. They are also called as condylomata acuminata.
Genital warts are the soft abnormal masses on the skin of male and female genitals. They are a sexually transmitted infection caused by one out of many types of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus).
HPV type 6 and 11 are the most frequent cause of genital warts.
Although these warts are painless but they can cause pain in pressure areas of the body such as plantar warts that occur on the sole of the foot. A single wart may persist for many years without change, or it may spread and give rise to satellite warts in other parts of the body.
What Are the Symptoms of Genital Warts?
Genital warts are not always apparent to human eye and have various shapes and size. They are small, scattered bumps of skin or grayish color. They can be smooth or rough, raised or flat.
In female they appear on vulva, vagina, cervix and groin. In male they appear on penis, scrotum, thighs and groin. Genital warts may also appear on the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat of a person who has had oral sexual contact with an infected person.
Even if you cannot see genital warts, they may still cause symptoms, such as vaginal discharge, itching, bleeding, or burning.
Are Genital Warts Dangerous?
In most of the cases genital warts are harmless. Thought some of the types of HPV are concerned with cervical cancer but the type of HPV concerned with genital warts is least likely to cause cervical cancer.
Virus appears to have no link with miscarriage, premature labor, or other types of pregnancy complications. Fortunately, the risk of transmitting the virus to the baby is very low.
How Can I Know If I Have Genital Warts?
First of the all the doctor will perform an examination about what type of warts is there and then for clear magnification he will apply an acidic solution, and the hidden warts will easily be seen.
Pap test can also be performed in which the cells are taken as a sample from a woman’s cervix or vagina. The cells are then tested to discover the presence or absence of the virus that causes genital warts.
If the virus is found to cause the infection, the doctor will suggest the individual more screenings to confirm the type of HPV. A DNA test will also help then.
Is There a Treatment for Genital Warts?
Some genital warts clear without treatment. Some warts need treatment because treatment lowers the risk of virus spread, relieve pain or itching, lets the patient know that the bumps are just warts and not cancer.
Genital warts require different treatments. A dermatologist can prescribe a medicine to apply on the warts. The medicines include podofilox for external warts, imiquimod as an immunity booster, sinecatechins as ointment for external warts and warts around the anus.
The warts can be treated by some procedures that include cryotherapy in which the warts are removed by freezing them; excision in which the warts are made to cut out, electrocautery involves use of current to remove warts or laser treatment.
Sometimes medicine is injected into the warts. Interferon, an antiviral medicine, may be injected into genital warts. This treatment is usually used if other treatment fails.
How Are Genital Warts Spread?
Genital warts can spread through sexual contact, skin to skin contact, if you have multiple sex partners; you use tobacco or are pregnant.
They can also spread if infected one is not getting treated for the diseases properly.
How Can I Prevent Getting or Spreading Genital Warts?
One can prevent getting or spreading genital warts if one reduces the number of sex partners, follow safer sex techniques, properly use condoms or dental dams, do not have sex with infected partner, if one is infected one shouldn’t have sex with the healthy on.
There are vaccines that protect against different types of HPV; if one gets vaccinated at times one can prevent getting the disease. It is to be noted point that one should be vaccinated against HPV before the exposure to infection otherwise, it is useless.