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Facts about Genital Warts Treatment
- Natural skin care, and all skin care options, really, are important when considering genital warts treatment
- It’s important to remember that no cure currently exists for genital warts, so prevention remains the best method for avoiding contraction
Although genital warts is not a pleasant topic for most discussions, it can be more serious than you might imagine and should not be ignored. Besides the associated risk of pregnancy complications, the cause of genital warts has also been linked to cancer. For these reasons, learning more genital warts treatment options is a good idea.
What are Genital Warts?
Before we can discuss genital warts treatment, understanding the nature of the condition and its causes are important. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), genital warts are bumps (sometimes flat or cauliflower-like in appearance) that appear in the genital areas of both men and women. They can appear on the penis, the scrotum, the vulva, the vagina, the cervix, and near the anus. The sizes of the warts vary. Some are barely visible while others are larger.
The cause of genital warts is the human papilloma virus (HPV). Some parts of the skin exposed to the virus can allow you to contract genital warts, though the virus is usually contracted through sexual activity, including vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse. Unfortunately, you cannot determine whether or not your partner has genital warts simply by looking at them. There is a lengthy incubation period associated with genital warts and also because of the location of some warts, a person could be affected without visible signs. Condoms can offer some protection, but they cannot completely eliminate risks.
In women, genital warts can be particularly dangerous. During pregnancy, the warts can cause complications with the delivery. Sometimes the warts can be transmitted to the baby and can grow in the child’s throat leading to an obstruction of the airway that requires surgery.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the virus responsible for genital warts has also been linked to cancer, including cervical and anal cancers. Cancer caused by HPV can also affect the penis and the vulva.
Genital Warts Treatments
One method of treating genital warts is via topical medications. These are applied directly to the affected area. The medications serve different functions. For example, imiquimod is used to increase the body’s immune response to the warts. Podofilox, on the other hand, actually works to destroy the tissue of the warts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend complete removal of the genital warts as part of an aggressive treatment program. There are several methods that this can be done. One is with TCA (trichloroacetic acid). When applied to the affected area, the warts will burn away.
There are also other methods for dealing with genital warts, including cryotherapy, which involves freezing the wart in liquid nitrogen, and electrocautery, which uses electricity to burn off the warts. Laser and surgical removal are other options.
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While the removal of genital warts can usually prevent the spread of the HPV virus, the CDC cautions patients that it does not mean they are free of the virus. If you have genital warts, you may want to continue careful screenings for cervical and other types of cancer most frequently associated with HPV. As with any type of cancer, early detection will increase the chances of successful treatment.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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