HPV | PLANTAR WARTS | GENITAL WARTS
Every year millions of people are treated for warts (verruca, verrucae, condylomata acuminata) caused by (HPV) by human papillomavirus. Approximately 1% of the sexually active population in the US is estimated to have external genital or perianal warts. The incidence of these warts is greatest in young adults aged 20-30. External genital or perianal warts are diagnosed based on your history and examination. Most lesions are asymptomatic, but on rare occassions can have inflammation, pruritus (itching), bleeding, painful sexual relations or obstructive symptoms.
There are over 100 types of HPV that can infect humans with over 40 that can infect the genital area. The most common types are HPV-6 and/or HPV-11. With the prophylactic vaccination against HPV-6, HPV-11 HPV-16 and HPV-18 it is anticipated to reduce prevalence of external genital warts and cervical cancer.
What Do Warts Look Like?
They generally appear initially as small, fleshy, raised bumps and can appear on most any area of the body. They may be spiny or have a distinctive cauliflower like appearance that are in clusters. They can be contagious with repeated contact with other areas of less protected skin and with scratching for example. You should avoid sexual intercourse with genital warts and use condoms at all times to avoid this condition.
Should I Get The HPV Vaccine?
Currently, both males and females should get the HPV vaccine to age 29. You should speak with your health care provider outside these guidelines.
What Are The Treatments For Warts?
There are many treatments for warts for all areas of the body. Some are with lasers, topical immune modulators, surgical, chemical (Podofilox). We most often prefer the use Imiquimod 5% cream as an immune response modifier which stimulates the cellular immune system and allows the wart to regress with pain caused by other treatments and eliminates the scars that may be caused by other forms of treatments.
Where Can Warts Appear?
These lesions can appear on most any areas of the body such as fingers, face, feet, genital area. If you develop these lesions you should see a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent spread of infection or infecting someone else.