HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV) INFECTION
The most common viral reproductive tract infection is human papilloma virus. Often HPV symptoms are missing and virus doesn’t carry any harm, but few HPV types cause cancer. Human papilloma virus treatment shall be complex in order to achieve the best results. Below we will discuss in detail existing types of HPV infection, symptoms and treatment options, both, conservative and interventional.
HPV infection is a condition which causes skin or mucous membrane growths also known as warts which can occur on any part of the body. Most HPV infections don’t cause to cancer but some types of genital HPV can cause cancer of the cervix. Certain HPV infections are the cause of cervical cancers and they occur in more than 100 varieties. Other types of cancers like cancers of the anus, penis, vagina, vulva and oropharngeal (back of the throat) have been linked to HPV infections.
WHAT CAUSES HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV) INFECTION?
HPV is a skin-to-skin infection which occurs when the virus enters the body usually through a cut, abrasion or small tear in the skin. It does not require sexual contact for infection; most people get infected through direct sexual contact or oral sex.
Genital HPV infections can be contracted through sexual intercourse, anal sex and other skin-to-skin contact in the genital region. HPV infections which result in oral or upper respiratory lesions are gotten through oral sex.
Genital warts in pregnant women have the ability to grow and multiply causing blockage of the birth canal and complicating vaginal delivery. The infection might be linked to a rare, benign growth in the baby’s voice box.
Most body’s immune systems defeat HPV infections before they form warts. Warts that do appear are referred to as the visible HPV symptom in the body and vary in appearance depending on the variety of HPV infection involved:
- Genital warts: These warts are one of the most common HVP symptoms, they appear as flat lesions, tiny stem-like protrusions or small cauliflower-like bumps. Genital warts appear mostly on the vulva, they also occur near the anus, on the cervix or in the vagina. In men, they occur on the penis and scrotum or around the anus. These warts rarely cause discomfort or pain but may itch.
- Common warts: These occur as rough, raised bumps on the hands, fingers or elbows. Common warts can be unsightly but painful and susceptible to injury and bleeding.
- Plantar warts: These are hard, grainy growths that mostly appear on the heels or balls of the feet and may cause discomfort.
- Flat warts: These are flat-topped, slightly raised lesions darker than the skin which can appear anywhere. Children usually get them on the face, men on the face in the beard area and women on the legs.
HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS TREATMENT OPTIONS
This treatment method makes use of direct application to the lesion which takes many applications for the treatment to be successful. They include:
- Salicylic acid: This human papilloma virus treatment works by removing layers of wart a little at a time. It can cause irritation and should not be used on the face.
- Imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara): This treatment cream might enhance the body’s immune system’s ability to fight HPV. Side effects caused could include redness and swelling of infected area.
- Podofilox (Condylox): This works by destroying genital wart tissue and may cause pain and itching at the application site.
- Trichloroacetic acid: This is a chemical human papilloma virus treatment which works by burning off warts on the palms, soles and genitals. This can cause irritation of the skin.
SURGICAL AND OTHER PROCEDURES
Doctors can suggest these methods on failure of the medication human papilloma virus treatment method:
- Freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy)
- Burning with an electrical current (electro cautery)
- Surgical removal
- Laser surgery
DIAGNOSING HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV) INFECTION
- Physical Examination: HPV infection can be diagnosed by studying the visible warts. More tests are recommended if the warts are not visible.
- Vinegar (acetic acid) solution test: Vinegar solutions turn HPV infected areas white, this helps in identifying difficult to see flat lesions.
- Pap test: Here, cells from the cervix are retrieved and tested for infection, inflammation or changes that may be cancerous.
- DNA test: This test recognises the DNA of high risk HPV varieties which have been linked to genital cancers. It is recommended for women of the age of 30 and above.