Genital Warts occur due to the human papilloma virus (HPV). It is an infection of the anal and genital skin area. It also affects the cervix, vaginal mucus lining and the rectum. HPV has more than 100 varieties which can affect the feet and hands. There could be 30 varieties of HPV in an around the anal and genital area. But the types 6 and 11 of HPV cause the most genital warts.
These warts can spread by sex toy sharing, anal or vaginal sex. The virus can spread through skin-to-skin contact. The genital skin which is not protected by a condom can be infected too.
The virus can pass when warts are present but it can also spread even after they disappear. Warts can develop in the mouth or on the lips because of oral sex but is quite rare. It is also rare that a pregnant woman having genital warts at birth can spread the virus to her child.
But genital warts cannot spread by sharing baths or towels, plates, hugging, using swimming pools, kissing and sharing cups. Many people may not have visible warts and the virus will disappear. Warts normally appear between 2 weeks and many months after getting the virus. These can be like bumps, fleshy growths in or on the anal and genital area.
Cures of HPV Genital Warts
If you have visible warts, then treatment will depend how it looks, where it is and how many are there. The treatment can remove the warts and reduce the virus. The treatments effectiveness depends on the type, size, treatment used and the immune system of an individual.
Treatment may not be needed for most people. Antibiotics cannot cure warts as it is caused by a virus and not bacteria.
The visible warts can be removed by –
- Laser treatment can be used through local anesthetic
- Applying liquid or cream on the warts for a few days. It can be used at home or clinic depending on the condition
- Freezing or cryotherapy
- Heat or electrocautery, using local anesthetic
- Surgery, using local anesthetic
Sometimes, there can be more than one treatment. It can be uncomfortable and cause irritation for a few days. You can use some pain relief medications during this time. Warm salted water can be used while bathing if you feel sore. Keep the skin dry and clean after a bath. It is better not to use perfumed soap, creams, bubble baths, bath oils till your treatment is completed.