One thing that you should know about genital warts is that they are viral. This means that they are highly communicable, and can easily pass on from one person to another. The nature of passing on the warts occurs through skin-to-skin contact.
There are many types of warts, and the most common is the Verruca Vulgaris, or the Common Wart. They occur on your hands, elbows, and your back. While they are not dangerous, they are inconvenient especially if they appear on sensitive areas like your armpits, your face, or your neck. A more dangerous type of warts is caused by a virus called Human Papilloma virus. They cause the genital warts.
What Causes Genital Warts: Infection & Risks
Genital warts are a form of Sexually Transmitted Disease. There are many kinds of genital warts, but not ALL of them are transmitted through sexual intercourse. A person gets genital warts when the skin of his genitals comes into contact with a skin surface that is infected with the disease. A person can get infected during sexual intercourse, anal sex and when having oral sex.
The Human Papillomavirus or HPV causes genital warts. Genital warts HPV is the MOST COMMON sexually transmitted disease in the world, but very few people know about this fact. In the US, the CDC estimates that 40% of the adult population has this virus, in contrast to AIDS, which only occurs to less than 2% of the population. The number of people who acquire genital warts increase by an estimated six million people every year.
What is sinister about this disease is that while many people think that condoms can prevent the transfer of the disease, the actual risk of contracting the HPV that causes genital warts is actually higher than 90%. This is also the reason why so many people have the disease. Medical studies also note the role of the Human Papillomavirus in increasing the risk of Cervical Cancer among women. There is also a risk of transferring the disease to newborn children during childbirth.
Symptoms of Genital Warts
The genital warts have slightly different manifestations in men and women, because some men will have the warts but the symptoms do not manifest.
Genital Warts In Women
For women , they will observe the presence of soft pustules occurring inside their vagina, around it, and in their anal area. Unlike the Common Warts that appear individually on tough skin, the genital warts appear in clusters. Their color range from white, to pinkish red, but sometimes they will also have a dark gray color.
Women with genital warts will also experience an increase in the moisture of the areas where there are warts. The body will also secrete excess vaginal fluid. Women will also experience pain and bleeding if the genital warts occur inside their vagina and their cervix.
Other symptoms include itching, and a discomfort in the affected areas. Sometimes, the woman will feel a burning sensation in severe cases.
Genital Warts In Men
The genital warts will appear in the same color and texture as those with women, but the affected area can cover the shaft of the penis, the tips of the penis, and any skin surface that may have come into contact with the virus. Men will also experience itching in the affected areas.
Genital Warts Prevention
The Center for Disease control in the US attributes the rapid spread of the genital warts in the US to having multiple sexual partners. Alarmingly, this occurs in many high schools and universities across the country where student populations often change partners every frequently.
Another reason for the rapid spread of HPV genital warts in the country is the lack of information and education about the disease. Most of the men who acquire the genital warts are not aware that they do not have the disease because the symptoms do not manifest immediately. One way of addressing this concern is to have yourself checked regularly for STD in clinics and diagnostics laboratory.
The Truth About Condoms and Genital Warts
The use of CONDOMS does not help in the prevention of the genital warts, as the condoms only protect certain areas of the skin, while the warts can occur outside the area that is covered by a condom. There are large areas of the genitals where warts occur and are not covered or protected by the condom. In fact, condoms increase the risk of contracting the HPV because the virus itself can attach to the rubber.
If a man touches an affected area of his skin with his fingers, and his fingers comes into contact with the external side of the condom, then the rubber is already CONTAMINATED and is a potential tool for spreading the virus much faster. Remember that the HPV genital warts are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, and NOT through transfers of bodily fluids.
There are immunizations against HPV-related diseases but these are only applicable to women. Vaccines for cervical cancer are now available worldwide. While these vaccines immunize a woman from HPV-related diseases like cervical cancer, they DO NOT immunize the women from contracting the HPV virus itself. They can still contract HPV genital warts, and they can still pass it on to others in spite of cervical cancer immunization. According to the CDC and the FDA, 70% of cervical cancer cases are attributed to HPV every year. Moreover, the vaccines only protect against certain strains of HPV. There are hundreds of strains of HPV.
The best prevention for genital warts is to limit your sexual partners. Abstinence is also a practical solution to prevent the spread of genital warts.
Treatment of Genital Warts
There are medical and natural treatments for genital warts. Take note that these are only treatments, and not cures. The genital warts treatment will only relieve the symptoms, but not fully eradicate the presence of the virus in your body. There is no known cure for genital warts caused by HPV. Once you are treated, your symptoms will subside but you are still contagious.
One way to relieve the symptoms is buying special creams and topical medicines that you apply on the affected areas of your body. These will relieve the itching and the uncomfortable feeling in caused by the genital warts.
There are also over the counter drugs available, but you have to consult your doctor about them. These drugs will limit the appearance of the genital warts in your body. You will still have the virus, but you do not have to walk around feeling embarrassed about your skin.
Major surgical procedures are also available to physically remove the warts from your body. These include cryosurgery, which involves freezing the affected area and then removing the skin and tissue with the warts. Cauterization, or the application of heat or laser to cut off the affected area is also another surgical procedure. They are both expensive, and are ideal only for small affected areas. Overall, abstinence is still the best way to stay away from genital warts.