HPV, which stands for human papillomavirus, is a serious disease that attacks the mucous membranes and epidermis of patients. When left untreated, this condition can cause more severe medical problems like cancer of the anus, cancer of the vagina and cervical cancer for women. In men, it can lead to penile cancer and anal cancer. This serious infection can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, such as the case of anal sex and vaginal intercourse. Here is a closer look at the different major and minor HPV symptoms, together with its diagnosis and treatments.
Signs of HPV Infection
It is easier to detect people who are suffering from this serious medical condition with the help of these major and minor symptoms. One of the early signs of this infection is the presence of genital warts. In women, the areas affected include the vagina, the cervix and the vulva. On the other hand, men experience this type of symptom somewhere near the anus, scrotum and penis. These warts make life more difficult for patients because of the pain and discomfort that they can bring.
Another sign of this disease is the presence of pre-malignant genital lesions. When left untreated, these lesions can cause cancers in different areas including the vulva, vagina and cervix. In some cases, the infection can cause upper respiratory and oral lesions. In these situations, the affected areas include the larynx, tonsils and tongue. Other visible symptoms of this serious medical problem include the presence of flat warts, plantar warts and common warts.
Patients need to undergo a series of tests before physicians can reach a highly accurate diagnosis of this severe disease. For the lesions and warts, a simple visual inspection is necessary. Meanwhile, the vinegar solution test can actually help confirm the presence of flat lesions, which are somehow difficult to see. Although inconclusive, pap tests can also help physicians come up with a more accurate diagnosis and findings. After this, patients can also undergo DNA tests, which can help identify the risk of cancer.
For the treatment of genital warts, many physicians usually recommend the use of podofilox, which is available in cream form and works by killing genital wart tissues. Meanwhile, patients can also apply trichloroacetic acid, which is a chemical treatment that works by burning genital warts. Furthermore, they can also apply a special cream made from imiquimod, which can ultimately improve the ability of the immune system to fight human papillomavirus. Other treatment options available include laser surgery, surgical removal as well as electrocautery.