Condylomata acuminata, venereal warts, anal warts and anogenital warts
Is an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) that is known to be very contagious. It can be mainly passed on to others by direct skin to skin contact. This is known to occur during sexual intercourse of an oral,anal or genital sex with another infected person.
This STD is caused by some strains of the (HPV) human papillomavirus. Even though a small a number of people may be infected with the virus, it does not always mean they will develop genital warts, however because they are infected with the virus, they can still pass it on to other people. There are other strains of HPV that are responsible for cervical cancer and anal cancers.
Genital Warts mainly appear in tight clusters, they can be very small, almost unobservable to the eye, but may also they may appear in large groups or clusters, sometimes looking like stalks.
They can appear in and around the anus, and on the penis tip, shaft or on the scrotum. In women inside and outside the vagina. around the opening of the cervix to the womb, and in and around the anus.
Genital Warts may also occur in the mouth of persons that indulge in oral sex, although this only shows up in rare occasions.
Even though you are having unprotected sex with an infected partner, and their HPV infection is latent and is not showing any symptoms you still run the risk of infecting the other party, actually there is a 70% chance that the partner will also become infected.
Treating Genital Warts – Inexpensive Treatment
Is treatment available?
In the medical world, it is suspected that up to 30% of genital warts disappear without any medical intervention. That is the reason why some folks have them and not even notice because they never caused any discomfort to them. Some of the distressing symptoms that cause people to hurry and seek medical attention are itching, a burning sensation, pain and openly visible warts that are surely a cause of stress. There are medications available to treat genital wart symptoms and sometime surgery is recommended to remove the warts.
Methods of treatment
Because genital warts are caused by a virus, most of the time they are bound to surface again because the virus that caused them is always lurking somewhere in the system. So treatment can usually take a long time requiring a lot of commitment from the patient. Several forms of medication are available to treat genital wart symptoms, some of which are applied directly to the skin:
- Imiquimod – this is a cream that is meant to assist the immune system’s ability to deal with the warts. While on treatment the patient is usually advised to avoid sexual contact as it may affect your sexual partner’s skin and when condoms are used it is known to weaken them, adding the risk to the other party.
- Podophyllin – this is in a family of natural resins that are applied directly by your doctor. They are known to attack and eliminate the warts completely. Being such a strong medication, the doctors will almost always apply the first dose to the patient and give strict instructions to be followed while it is used at home.
- Trichloroacetic acid-(TCA). This is a chemical formula used to burn off the warts where they appear and is usually applied by the medical practitioner.
Many persons who try treating the condition with over the counter drugs have end up very disappointed. Some of the medications are risky especially when applied to moist genital areas as they can cause irritation and pain.
Sometimes doctors will use surgery to treat the genital warts, especially when they are resistant to medical treatment. Other times when a woman is pregnant and there is a danger that the baby could easily be infected during delivery surgery could be performed. Some of the surgical options in the market are:
- Freezing with nitrogen – freezing causes a blister around the wart and as the skin heals the wart will be eliminated. Repeat treatments are most effective.
- Electrocautery – electric current is applied to burn of persistent warts
- Surgical excision – the doctor surgically cut’s off the warts under local anesthesia
Prevention is always cheaper than cure but once you have been infected then you have no option but to seek treatment as soon as you can.
2 Scheinfeld N, Lehman DS (2006). “An evidence-based review of medical and surgical treatments of genital warts”
3 Soler C, Allibert P, Chardounet V et al. Detection of human papillomavirus types 6, 11, 16 and 18 in mucosal and cutaneous lesions by the multiplex polymerase chain reaction. J Virol Methods 1995; 350:143-158.