Causes of Genital Warts

Genital warts are caused by a virus called the human papilloma virus or HPV.  HPV infection causing genital warts affects more than 20 million of the American population.  Every year, more than 5 million people across the globe contract HPV.

genital warts 200w Causes of Genital Warts

There are, in fact, more than a hundred types of HPV but only some can cause genital warts.  Among these causative agents of genital warts, forty are transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact.  Warts not only occur on the genitals but also to the feet, hands, and even on the face.

HPV, when contracted, lives inside the human body cells where it grows in number and then breaks out in the host cell.  It will eventually infect other cells.  Almost 2/3rds of the people who are intimate with those HPV infected individuals will also become infected with the virus.  They usually show signs of genital warts approximately 3 months from the initial direct contact.

Aside from genital warts, HPV also causes cervical cancer among women infected with the virus.  The HPV viruses causing cervical cancer are grouped into high, intermediate, and low risk groups.  Those HPV types belonging to the low risk group of HPV are the ones that cause visible genital warts.  HPV type 6 and type 11 are the frequent causes of most genital warts cases.

For women, a regular Pap smear is recommended to make sure that any cervical changes linked to HPV are detected early.  With early detection, measures to prevent these changes from developing into cervical cancer can be started.  Although there are vaccinations available to prevent HPV infections and cervical cancer, regular pap smears are still highly recommended.

How to Know if You Have Genital Warts?

Genital warts appear as painless growths in the genital area.  They may be flat or elevated in appearance, but they usually are tiny and they form clusters.  They can also be present, but not visible.  Some of the cases of genital warts have a burning and itching sensation on the genital area.

The sure way to know if you have genital warts is through a visit to a doctor.   Although genital warts can be observed by your partner, it is still highly recommended that you be checked by a doctor.

The risk factors in contracting HPV causing genital warts include the following:
•    Unprotected sex
•    Being active in sexual activities at a young age
•    Engaging in sexual intercourse with an infected person
•    Engaging in sexual intercourse with an individual you do not know

Complications of Genital Warts

Genital warts and cervical cancer are closely linked to each other.  During pregnancy, the presence of genital warts could lead to difficulty in urinating.  Also, there may be difficulty in giving birth during delivery since the genital warts may interrupt the complete stretching of the vagina necessary for the baby’s delivery.

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Genital Warts – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Genital warts are easily treated.  Learn what they are and how to treat them.

Watch This Video To Learn More

One of the common STDs (Sexually Transmitted Disease) among adults is genital warts.  Genital warts are painless, tiny growths that may be flat or raised and often seem like cauliflower in appearance.  These genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus or HPV, which is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact through anal or vaginal sex.  Sometimes, the virus can be transmitted to the mouth during oral sex.

The warts may not be visible to the eyes, but they can pose discomfort when they are observable.  The warts are usually painless, but in some cases, there is pain, itching, and a burning feeling.  In such cases, treatment may be needed.

Genital wart treatment involves removing of the warts, but not the virus.  There may be over-the-counter wart removal creams and ointments, but these medications are not suitable for genital warts caused by HPV.  There are two genital wart treatment options that the doctor may prescribe for infected patients: topical medications and surgery.

Topical Genital Wart Treatment

1.  Imiquimod Cream

Imiquimod creams act against the warts by stimulating the body’s immune system to fight and attack the warts caused by the virus. The cream is applied once a day, 3 times a week, for up to 3 months and is not recommended for use by pregnant women. After application, sex should be avoided because the cream may weaken the effectiveness of condoms and may cause irritation on the partner’s skin.

2. Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) treatment

TCA acts by killing wart cells by destroying the protein content.  This is always done by a physician or a nurse because an incorrectly applied application of this chemical treatment may damage healthy cells instead of the wart cells.  This is the recommended treatment for pregnant women.  A side effect of TCA treatment is a burning sensation for a few minutes after application.

3. Podophyllotoxin

Podophyllotoxin, a plant resin, works by releasing toxic effects to the wart cells, thereby destroying them.   Podophyllotoxin comes in a liquid form and is applied through the use of an application stick and then dripped on the warts.  Like TCA, this genital wart treatment should be done by a doctor.  There may be mild irritation of the skin when applying the medication. This treatment is also not recommended for use by pregnant women.

Surgical Genital Wart Treatment

1. Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy for genital warts works by freezing wart cells using liquid nitrogen to form blisters.  When these blisters heal, there will be sloughing of lesions and new skin will start to form.  Cryotherapy is usually repeated to treat genital warts.

2. Electrocautery

Cauterization acts against the warts through the use of electric current to burn off the wart tissues.

3. Excision

In cases where the tiny warts had formed into large clusters, surgical excision may be recommended by a surgeon where he will cut off the whole clusters of warts through special surgical tools.  There will be soreness and tenderness over the site of the excision and it may take 1 to 3 weeks before the skin is fully healed.  Sex should be avoided until then.

4. Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is expensive but effective in removing warts.  An intense light beam is used to burn the warts.

These are just some of the effective treatments for a genital warts cure.

Genital Warts – Human Papilloma virus (HPV)

Genital Warts are the most visible symptom found in some forms of the sexually transmitted disease Human Papilloma virus (HPV).  Genital Warts are not found in the kind of HPV which causes anal and cervical cancer but they are highly contagious, and among the most transmittable sexually transmitted diseases.  HPV is incredibly common, and the US Centers for Disease Control has stated that most people will contract HPV at some point in their lives.

ecover Gen Warts 160w Genital Warts    Human Papilloma virus (HPV)

HPV is a virus and stays in the body once contracted.  It cannot be cured.  However, the symptom of HPV known as genital warts is not usually permanent, although it can be long-lasting, taking as long as eighteen months to clear out of one’s system.  When genital warts do leave the body they can go into a period of latency for months or years.  It is always suggested that individuals at risk of contracting HPV from a sexual partner have themselves vaccinated.  However, vaccination only protects against the highest risk forms of HPV, which are not the ones that cause genital warts.

Although genital warts cannot be cured, genital warts treatments are possible and genital warts medication is available.  It is not uncommon for victims of HPV to have their warts surgically removed, and there are a variety of methods available for doing so.  However, there are often unwanted side effects to this course of action, such as scarring and depigmentation.  The alternative to surgery is topical treatment using crèmes and ointments.  Podofilox is a gel that is applied to the infected area and cannot be washed off it is to be effective.  Podofilox can cause some pain and is applied twice a day for several days with four to seven days without.  It is known to be effective.

Another genital warts treatment that has proven effective is Sinecatechins, which can be found in Eregen and Polyphenon E. Sinecatechins comes from green tea with certain chemical components mixed in for potency.  Sinecatechins is more effective than other treatments and is less irritating, but it takes a fairly long time to work.

Imiquimod is a crème designed to boost the body’s pre-existing immune responses.  In terms of irritation it falls between the other two drugs.  Imiquimod is effective, but it has some side effects.  It can cause fungal infections to develop, and it makes some people feel very sick.  Sometimes the drug Interferon is very effective, but it cost considerably more than other solutions and does not work for all patients.  Other genital warts treatments are generally not suggested, as they are either not FDA approved, or have not shown sufficient evidence of success.

What Are Venereal Warts?

Venereal warts are also called genital warts.  These warts are unpleasant to look at and are often painless, flat growths seen on the genital area of the body.  Venereal warts are caused by the human papilloma virus transmitted through vaginal and anal sexual contact.  Of all the types of human papilloma virus, only some cause genital warts which include type 6 and 11 as the most common causes.  These two types are also known to be linked with warts appearing in the mouth, nose, conjunctiva and larynx.

 What Are Venereal Warts?

Venereal warts are often asymptomatic.  However, they can be painful and even itchy, depending on the size of the warts and the location.  Venereal warts are usually seen under an uncircumcised penis’ foreskin, along the shaft of a circumcised penis, around a woman’s clitoris, and around the anal area.

Diagnosis of Venereal Warts

The diagnosis of the condition rests heavily on a doctor’s clinical assessment.  There is no laboratory or diagnostic exam to screen for the presence of venereal warts, except for a biopsy.  A biopsy is not often recommended by physicians to diagnose venereal warts with the exception of a few circumstances such as an uncertain diagnosis, lesions not responding to treatment and therapies, worsening of the condition, compromised immunity, and the presence of unusual lesions.

Treatment of Venereal Warts

Treatment of these venereal warts does not involve completely treating and eliminating the human papilloma viral infection.  The treatment involves solely the removal of these warts. The warts can reappear and cause discomfort even after removal treatments had been applied before.  Treatment can be through use of topical medications such as Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA), Podophillox, and Imiquimod.  These medications act to destroying the cells of the warts (Podophillox and TCA) and to increase the body’s immunity to fight the virus forming the warts (Imiquimod).

Over-the-counter topical medications for regular warts are not recommended for use in venereal warts since these creams and ointment may irritate the skin more.  Also, the application of these topical treatments for venereal warts should be done by a licensed health professional.

Aside from the topical medications, surgical treatment can also be recommended by physicians to treat warts.  Surgery is especially suggested in cases where the venereal warts are so large that they cause pain and discomfort, or that the topical or chemical treatment did not work to reduce them.

The surgical procedures can be any of the following:
• Surgical excision – cutting off the cluster of warts through special tools and equipment by a surgeon.
• Electrocautery – the venereal warts are removed through application of electric current to burn and remove them from the skin.
• Cryotherapy – the venereal warts are frozen to form blisters which will eventually slough off the skin during the healing process.

How to Prevent Venereal Warts

Venereal warts are caused by the human papilloma virus which is transmitted from one person to another through direct contact via sexual intercourse, vaginal, anal, and even oral.  To prevent contracting the disease, a person should make every reasonable effort to ensure he or she is engaging in sexual activity with an individual who does not have human papilloma virus infection.

These are just some of the ways to find genital warts relief.  The other articles on this site provide more helpful information.

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