HPV Treatment, HPV, and Genital Warts
What is HPV and how is it related to Genital Warts?
The Human Papillomavirus Virus (commonly known as HPV) is a virus that affects about 20 million people in the United States. There are over 100 different strains of HPV and around 30 of them are known to be sexually transmitted. Some HPV strains can cause genital warts and other HPV strains can cause abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix that could potentially lead to cervical cancer. Other HPV strains cause common warts which can affect the hands, feet, other parts of the body.
How can I get HPV?
HPV can transfer from one person to another through sexual skin-to-skin contact, which means intercourse is not necessary in order for the virus to be transmitted. HPV can also be transmitted by oral sex.
What are the symptoms of HPV?
Genital warts are symptoms of certain HPV strains that can affect both males and females. Some strains of HPV are completely asymptomatic. For that reason it is necessary for females to regularly have pap smears by their gynecologists to check for atypical cells in the cervix.
What do Genital Warts look like?
Genital warts usually occur on the genitals (penis or vagina), around the anal area. But they actually can occur anywhere on the body. They appear as single or multiple small cauliflower-like brown or pink bumps. Size can range from a few millimeters to over a centimeter or more.
How are Genital Warts treated?
Some genital warts may disappear even without treatment. Other lesions will continue to grow and spread. If you suspect you might have genital warts, you should be examined by a Board Certified Dermatologist. If you can see a lesion, then you are definitely contagious and are at risk for spreading HPV to others and even to yourself.
The current therapeutic options for genital wart include following treatments performed by dermatologists:
What is the best treatment for my Genital Warts?
- Cryotherapy or Cryosurgery: Using a sub-freezing liquid spray to directly destroy the HPV virus
- Immune enhancing creams, such as Imiquimod, Zyclara, Aldara or Veregen. (These are only available by prescription.)
- In office application of Podophyllin, an anti-mitotic liquid, which is washed off after application
- TCA Acid can be used to burn off the warts
- Laser surgery can be used to directly destroy the HPV virus and skin cells harboring the virus.
The best treatment for your genital warts depends on the size, location and other factors. During your consultation we will review your treatment options and recommend the best treatment for you. Treatment will be able to begin same day for most patients.
To schedule a consultation with New York City Dermatologist, Dr. Schweiger, click here.
For more information on Common Warts: Click here