HPV is an abbreviation, used to denote “human papillomavirus”. This virus is responsible for warts on a person’s body.
The doctors have identified over 80 strains of HPV. Each of those tends to affect a particular type of skin and some of them only spread to the genital area skin. As a result of the infection, the genital warts may appear. It should be said that most of the people who have HPV are not aware of this fact, since no symptoms are ever shown.
The genital warts can present in various forms:
- white, gray or flesh colored;
- big and small;
- flat or raised;
- Cauliflower, elongated, random formations.
Just as warts on other parts of the body, the genital growths are usually completely benign and will cause no health complications in the future. These moles can go away themselves or stay in the form, in which they first appear.
If a person sets his or her mind on taking them out, there are a number of options that can be used, including cryotherapy (applying liquid nitrogen and freezing them out) or placing a mild acid. It should be noted that it’s only a trained health care provider that can do this, notwithstanding how mundane this process may appear.
A person that has been diagnosed with genital warts may decide to leave them untouched. The decisions of this sort should always be taken based on the consultation with a medical professional. Following a successful removal of a mole, it’s still possible that the virus might transmit.
Notably, some types of genital warts may regrow after some time.
Some of the HPV strains affect the cervix with no warts seen. Such strains have been shown to cause cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. Having regular pap smears is the best way to take preemptive actions and detect about any infection at an early stage. It’s not always that HPV will lead to a cancerous growth on the cervix; however it can take up the risks of it, if combined with other viruses or health conditions.
Cervix-focused treatments generally include such practices as cryotherapy or application of mild acids. The treatment seeks to take out the abnormal cells.
The transmission of HPV requires a direct contact of genitalia (i.e. rubbing of infected genital skin again uninfected genital skin). Body fluids do not transmit HPV, which means that oral sex is highly unlikely to result in the infection.
In order to prevent against a possible transmission, a barrier is required. Both latex condoms and female condoms will assure the skin protection, when fully covering the respective area. At the same time, the skin patches with no cover on the top may still be vulnerable to the infection. The bullet-proof option is to avoid any contact between the genitals whatsoever.
Back to STD FAQs