Genital warts or Condylomata are inflammatory growths on skin and mucous membrane. The Greek word condyloma means ‘growth’.
Genital warts occur on the skin areas that have friction and irritation – in groin area, genitals, sometimes in armpits and corners of the mouth. Genital warts are caused by Human papilloma virus (HPV).
The main varieties are flat condyloma and pointed condyloma.
Flat condylomata occur on wide area, and they usually are as syphilis and other diseases.
Pointed condylomata occur usually on thin skin and look like nodules in shape of cauliflower.
HPV occurring on the genitals are grouped in two categories – high-risk and low-risk. High-risk HPV cause cervical cancer but not pointed condylomata. Low-risk HPV do not cause cervical cancer, but cause pointed condylomata.
You can get HPV through vaginal, anal, rarely oral sexual contacts. A mother can infect her newborn baby. Infection can be spread by contact with contaminated objects, but not always.
HPV refers to widely spread STI. Actually, all people having sex are at risk. More then half of people having sex have one or the other HPV type.
Using condoms after becoming infected does not reduce risk for spreading infection.
Keep in mind that the virus is not noticed by most HPV-infected people since it is not controlled by the immune system. Genital warts occur only on 1 to 2% of infected people. This is due to the weakened general or localized immunity.
Genital warts can appear after several weeks to several years after becoming infected. It is considerable time. Flesh-colour or pink spots occur on the skin sized from a millimeter to several centimeters. They can increase over time.
In males, genital warts can be found usually on the head of the penis, frenulum, inner foreskin layer. In female, genital warts can be found labia (minora and majora), clitoris, vagina, vaginal opening, outer urethral orifice, hymen, cervix.
In both man and woman, genital warts can occur around anus though it not always has to do with anal sex. HPV affects wide areas and it can spread there.
Development of genital warts depends on work of the immune system. It can develop:
- Gradually (in size and amount)
- No changes over a long time
- Individual cases
Genital growths can result in different complications. They can bleed, hinder during sex and childbirth. It can be felt emotionally uncomfortable.
In this event the infection does not develop any outer symptoms. The types of the virus can cause cervical dysplasia and cancer.
Treatment for Genital Warts
Genital Warts are treated in several ways. Since every of them have advantages and disadvantages there are no universal treatment methods.
The aim of the treatment is to reduce or remove the symptoms. Treatment doesn’t make a person disease-free. The disease is life-long. Treatment cannot prevent spreading the virus. After any treatment the symptoms can occur again, about 30%.
To avoid return of the symptoms immune drugs are taken: Poludan, Immunomax, Amixin, Immunal, Polyoxidonium, Cycloferon. Their effectiveness is not proven.
Therefore the only recommendation is to avoid factors weakening the immune system such as using smoking and alcohol, cold, heavy stresses, chronic fatigue and lack of vitamins.