Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a contagious virus most often transmitted through sexual contact that develops as soft growths on the skin and mucus membranes. It is the most common sexually transmitted disease with symptoms such as genital warts. At least half of all sexually active men and women contract HPV. Common non-sexual body parts that are at high risk for infection included a person’s throat, tongue, mouth, feet, legs, arms and hands. The virus can only be contracted through skin to skin contact when there is an open cut or abrasion.
Other symptoms and signs of HPV are plantar, common, and flat warts. For women, genital warts can develop tumors or oral and upper respiratory lesions and because the genital warts can cause abnormal cell changes in the cervix or other genital areas, they are in danger of it developing into cervical cancer. Genital warts are white, pink or red cauliflower shaped growths in the vagina and anal areas that may cause itching or bleeding. HPV does not affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant and rarely does a baby of an HPV-infected mother become infected. The vaccine Gardasil can protect women from the most common four types of HPV.
Not all types of HPV cause gential warts. Other types of HPV cause warts on other parts of the skin, such as the hands and feet.
There is no cure for HPV, but the infection often clears up on its own. If it doesn’t, treatment such as cryotherapy or the freezing of abnormal cells with liquid nitrogen, conization which is a cone biopsy to remove the abnormal areas or loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) which destroys abnormal cells using an electrical current.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus from the Papillomaviridae family. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States and can cause a variety of health effects. HPV infections are commonly associated with skin or mucous membrane growths known as warts. There are over 100 types of HPV, and while most infections cause no symptoms and resolve within two years, some types can persist and lead to either warts or precancerous lesions. Depending on the site affected, these lesions can increase the risk of cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, tonsils, or throat. In general, HPV is thought to be responsible for more than 90% of anal and cervical cancers, about 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers, and 60% of penile cancers. However, most HPV infections do not lead to cancer. HPV vaccines are available and can prevent some of the health effects associated with HPV. Vaccination is recommended for all preteens starting at age 9 to protect them from HPV infections that can cause cancer later in life.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause warts and cancer. HPV enters the body through cuts, abrasions, or small tears in the skin and is primarily transferred through skin-to-skin contact. Genital HPV infections are contracted through sexual intercourse, anal sex, and other skin-to-skin contact in the genital region. There are more than 40 strains of HPV that affect the genital area.
The HPV virus causes warts, including genital warts. Genital warts are almost always spread through sexual contact, and a person’s warts do not have to be visible for them to spread the infection to their sexual partner.
In addition to warts, HPV can cause cancer, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile, anal, and oropharyngeal cancer. It often takes years, even decades, to develop after a person gets HPV.
Risk factors for human papillomavirus infection include unsafe sex, tobacco use, UV radiation, folate deficiency, immune suppression, multiple sexual partners, prolonged oral contraceptive use, high-risk ethnic backgrounds, such as African Americans, and having other infections, such as HIV. HPV is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus and even when a person with the infection has no signs or symptoms.
Prevention of HPV infection is crucial in reducing the risk of developing related health problems such as warts and cancer. This can be achieved through vaccination and practicing safe sex by using condoms and limiting sexual partners.
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent HPV, there are several steps that can be taken to lower the risk of contracting the virus and developing related health issues like genital warts and cervical cancer.
One of the most effective ways to prevent HPV transmission is abstinence from any sexual contact, including oral, anal, and vaginal sex. However, if sexual activity is taking place, safer sex practices can help lower the chances of getting HPV. Condoms and/or dental dams can be used every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex, although they are not as effective against HPV as they are against other STDs like chlamydia and HIV.
In addition to practicing safer sex, the HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing the virus and the diseases it causes. The vaccine used in the United States protects against the HPV types that cause most genital warts and cervical cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccines for boys and girls 11 or 12 years old.
Routine screening for cervical cancer can also prevent the disease. Women aged 21 to 65 years old should undergo regular screening. If you are sexually active, using condoms the right way every time you have sex can lower your chances of getting HPV, but HPV can infect areas the condom does not cover.
Finally, maintaining a healthy immune system may also reduce the risk of contracting HPV. Smoking can weaken the immune system, making it less effective at fighting off HPV infections.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is primarily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. HPV can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus, even if they have no signs or symptoms. It can also be spread through close skin-to-skin touching during sex. Genital HPV infections are contracted through sexual intercourse, anal sex, and other skin-to-skin contact in the genital region. Some HPV infections that result in oral or upper respiratory lesions are contracted through oral sex. HPV can be spread even if no one ejaculates (cums), and even if a penis doesn’t go inside the vagina/anus/mouth. It is also possible to spread HPV through sharing sex toys or using contaminated fingers to touch a partner’s genitals. HPV can cause genital warts, which are almost always spread through sexual contact, and certain types of HPV can lead to cancer. It is recommended that individuals practice safe sex by using condoms or dental dams during sexual activity and getting the HPV vaccine to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) warts can be treated with various methods. Over-the-counter treatments that contain salicylic acid, such as wart remover pads or liquid, work by removing layers of the wart a little at a time. Cryotherapy, where the wart is frozen off with liquid nitrogen, or topical chemical treatments, such as trichloroacetic acid, can also be used to remove warts. These treatments should be performed by a board-certified Dermatologist. Dr. Rokhsar can easily perform these treatments in the office and has treated thousands of patients with oral, genital, and anal HPV. Another effective way to treat genital warts is through the 2 mm beam of the CO2 laser. Dr. Rokhsar is a world renowned expert in the use of the CO2 laser for many dermatologic conditions including HPV and genital warts.
For stubborn warts that don’t respond to traditional treatments, immunotherapy can help the immune system fight the virus. Immunotherapy involves a topical chemical, such as imiquimod which causes a mild allergic reaction that makes the wart go away. Additionally, some prescription medications can be used to treat genital warts, including imiquimod cream, podofilox solution, or sinecatechins ointment.
Upper East Side Manhattan Office
121 East 60th Street, Suite 8AB New York, NY 10022
Long Island Office
901 Stewart Ave, Suite 240, Garden City, NY 11530