Have you ever wondered how to treat genital warts and what causes this unsightly disease? In this article, you are going to learn about the causes, symptoms and how to remove genital warts. Genital warts affect more than 80 percent of the entire U.S. population at some point in their lifetime according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, not everyone among the 80 percent goes ahead and develops fully blown genital warts. Here’s why.
They are flesh colored, gray or white growths that inflict the genital area. They assume a flat shape and usually inflict the genital mucosa. They are caused by some strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV strains responsible for causing these growths are HPV 6 or 11. According to the CDC, these strains are responsible for 90 percent of all genital warts cases in the U.S. They are usually found prior to the detection of these warts as well as during the actual diagnosis. Growths that occur around the vagina are known as vaginal warts. In some cases, these warts form masses that can be likened to a cauliflower’s head.
Types 16,18,31,33 and 35 of HPV are usually associated with visible genital warts. Apart from warts, HPV strains 6 and 11 are also associated with laryngeal, oral, nasal and conjunctival warts. Usually, they are either painful or asymptomatic. This will, however, depend on the anatomic location and the size of the growths. These warts usually afflict the shaft in circumcised men, beneath the foreskin in uncircumcised men, and introitus in most women. They can also occur in multiple locations on the scrotum, perianal skin, perineum, urethra, vagina and cervix. According to CDC, intra-anal warts are predominantly observed in people who practice anal intercourse.
This is an infection that is classified under sexually transmitted diseases. It is highly infectious and has no definite cure, as at present. The virus that causes the infection, HPV, is capable of staying in the victim’s body weeks and even years on end. As a result, it causes recurrence of the disease. Recent studies indicate that it might be possible to eliminate HPV from your body depending on the robustness of your immune response.
There is a common misconception as concerns the transmission of HPV. Unlike the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, this virus cannot be passed on from one person to another through body fluids. There has to be some form of actual physical contact between an infected person and a healthy one. This can only be feasible through oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Once a person has been infected with the virus, it might take weeks or years for genital warts to develop.
Another common misconception that touches on this infection is the use of condoms as a means of preventing infection. Condoms offer protection against the spread of HPV up to a certain degree. However, their protection against genital warts is not absolute since they might not be able to cover all the affected parts.
If you have sex with an infected person, you have a 60 percent likelihood of contracting the virus. Symptoms of the disease take a minimum of three months to appear, however, in some cases this period could extend to years. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), women might in some special cases lack visible symptoms of the disease. Detection of the disease in such a case is only possible through scheduled cancer pap tests. Small bumps or warts on the genitals remain the main symptom of the disease. In men, these warts appear on the anus and penis while in women, they tend to appear on the vagina, vulva, and cervix. Big warts are usually tender and itchy and often cause their victims to experience an uncomfortable burning sensation.
The diagnosis for this form of STD is more often than not carried out through clinical diagnosis methods. The first step is through visual inspection. After that, a biopsy procedure is then used to confirm the presence of these warts especially in cases where there is uncertainty in the diagnosis, or the lesions are non-responsive to standard therapy procedures, or where the patient happens to have comprised immunity.
Below are some common methods used to get rid of genital warts;
The use of topical creams like podofilox and Podophyllin can be used comfortably at home.
Electrodessication- use of an electric current to get rid of the warts.
Laser surgery by a qualified surgeon for large genital warts.
Interferon-alpha which is an antiviral drug that removes the wart after injection.
Imiquimod cream which helps the body fight off the infection on its own through an immune boost.
If you are interested in learning how to treat genital warts at home, the following procedures should guide you:
Shave your pubic area clean using a firm razor and anti-bacterial fluid to keep the HPV virus at bay.
Use gas peroxide sparingly to clean the area.
This will stop any further infection.
Another common procedure which is used at home is the use of aloe which is an effective natural remedy for all types of skin conditions. Here’s how to:
Clean the infected area thoroughly.
Using a cotton swab, apply the aloe into the area.
This procedure should be repeated before bedtime and in the morning.
Apple cider vinegar is another great option which you could use to clear this infection from the comfort of your house. It is quite cheap and highly effective in combating genital warts. The procedure for doing this is as follows:
Have the silk cotton swabs dipped into the apple cider vinegar.
Place the swabs onto the affected area and stick them in place using a bandage overnight.
Repeat this for seven consecutive days and marvel at the rate of disappearance of the warts.
As mentioned earlier there is no guarantee that these methods will work to get rid of the infection, however, they do offer some form of respite to patients. One surefire way of keeping the infection at bay is by having regular medical checkups and, of course, practicing safe sex.