Genital warts are small fleshy growths, bumps or skin changes that appear on or around the genital or anal area. They are fairly common and are a result of viral skin infection caused by the human papillomavirus. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is not a single virus, but a family of over 100 different strains of viruses.
- Most cases of infection with HPV cause no visible symptoms. Around 90% of all
cases of genital warts are caused by two strains of the virus, type 6 and type 11. Other
strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer.
- Genital warts can be spread during vaginal or anal sex. However, you do not need to
have penetrative sex to pass the infection on because HPV is spread by skin-to-skin
contact. Warts can appear after up to one year of contact with someone who has HPV.
- The virus is usually passed on when warts are present, although there is a possibility
that it is passed on before they develop.
- Genital Warts can be removed using various forms of treatments. There are several
medicines that can be applied directly to genital warts, depending on where they are
located. Some prescription genital warts treatments can be used at home while others
must be applied by your health care provider. Apart from using medicines, genital
warts also may be removed by freezing them. This method of treatment is called
cryotherapy. They may even be burned off. This is called electrocauterization.
- Finally, they may even be removed using surgery and lasers. In very few cases, they
are treated with injections of interferon.