What is genital warts and how is it transmitted?
Genital warts are cauliflower like fleshy bumps appearing on the genital area or the anus . They can be skin colored or lighter in color and can cause pain, itching and burning. They are caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and are transmitted sexually. It is the most common sexually transmitted disease. Nearly every sexually active person is infected at least once in a lifetime. They are highly contagious; the infection generally occurs after 1-3 months of contact. Some types of HPV can cause cervical cancer, so frequent screening is important for women.
What are the symptoms of genital warts?
Some symptoms are vaginal discharge, itching, bleeding, burning, etc. .
What is the treatment for genital warts?
It can be treated by laser, electrocautery wart removal, freezing by cryotherapy, surgical excision, and drug treatments.
Can the warts disappear spontaneously without treatment?
In some cases, the warts can spontaneously reappear if not treated. This may take 1-2 years and it is dangerous to wait for such a long time without treatment.
Can the warts reappear after treatment?
If the underlying infection is not treated, the wart may come back.
Are these type of warts only transmitted sexually?
Apart from blood and contact, use of common toilet and underwear can also transmit the warts.
How does one know if they have genital warts?
Sometimes the warts form in hidden places like in the vagina, anus and cervix. They can also be the color of the skin or darker.
Can genital warts be treated by topical medication?
Yes currently there are several topical creams that can be used to treat the warts. Some of the commonly used medicine are:
- Podophyllotoxin 0.05% Solution or Gel & 0.15% Cream
- Imiquimod Cream 5% & 3.75%,
- Sinecatechins 15% Ointment
- Trichloroacetic Acid 80–90% Solution
Genital warts can also be treated by the following therapies:
- Cryotherapy – Freezing the wart
- Electrosurgery – burning the tissue with high frequency electric currents
- Surgical Scissor Excision – physically removing the wart tissue
- Carbon Dioxide Laser Therapy – Uses laser to burn the wart tissue
Is there a home treatment for the warts?
Home treatment of warts can be done by applying cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar on to the wart.
Can you get HPV Vaccine after being infected by genital warts?
Yes, you can protect yourself from other types of HPV through vaccination. The vaccine prevents 90% of HPV strains. The vaccine can also help clear the warts.