Human papilloma virus as the cause of anogenital warts
Anogenital warts: causes and methods of control
Warts are small (most often) growths on the skin that have a benign nature. The culprit of the appearance of warts, modern medicine considers the human papillomavirus (hereinafter HPV), which, according to the World Health Organization, infected from 60 to 70% of the total population of our planet.
But if warts, for example on the fingers, are perceived as an annoying nuisance, then anogenital * warts, they are genital warts, or Latin Condylomata acuminata, is already a serious problem. More than 40 of the currently known 600 types of papillomavirus are capable of causing the appearance of anogenital neoplasms.
How is human papillomavirus spreading
The human papilloma virus is transmitted in two main ways – contact and sexual. The contact path is the transmission of infection through household or toilet items. So, often the infection occurs in the bathhouse, pool, soul of the fitness club, because high humidity and temperature create the most favorable environment for the virus.
If we talk about anogenital warts, then, as a rule, this is the result of unprotected sex and frequent, erratic change of sexual partners. Scratches, cracks, abrasions, and other microtraumas that violate the integrity of the skin in the genital area increase the likelihood of infection.
The peculiarity of the human papillomavirus is that it can “nap” in the body for years, without manifesting itself. The disease develops when the human immune system weakens and the “warriors of light”, the cells of the immune system, can no longer restrain the pressure of the virus.
How do anogenital warts manifest?
As the name implies, this particularly unpleasant kind of warts affects the genital area and perianal zone (areas of the skin around the anus).
In men, such neoplasms most often capture the penis, or rather, its head, bridle, coronary sulcus, and sometimes the external opening of the urethra. Less commonly, anogenital warts are found on the skin of the scrotum, inguinal region and perineum.
In women, as a rule, small and large labia, the vestibule and walls of the vagina, the clitoris, the perianal region, the intergluteal fold, and sometimes the cervix and urethra are affected.
Condylomas can be single or multiple, collected in “clusters” of 5-15 pieces. Outwardly, they resemble cauliflower inflorescences, they are soft to the touch, the color can vary from pink to brown.
In addition to the warts themselves, the pathology is manifested by redness of the skin, the appearance of itching and burning, painful cracking of the skin, pain during sexual intercourse and spotting (in women).
How to avoid becoming a victim of HPV
In order to reduce the risk of contracting the human papillomavirus, protected sex and monogamous relationships are recommended. It is important not to allow the use of toilet articles – soap, washcloths, towels, with anyone else. It is necessary to maintain the immune system, strengthen the immune system – for this, hardening and multivitamin and other immunity stimulating agents are used. A vaccine is currently known that reduces the risk of HPV infection by up to 90% in contact with an infected partner. But vaccination needs to be done before the onset of sexual activity in a teenager – this is the only way to prevent infection.
What to do with HPV
The human papillomavirus, once it enters the body, no longer leaves it. However, the virus can be deactivated, so that it will not cause any visible manifestations of the disease. For this, the formation of anogenital warts does not use antiviral drugs, but means that stimulate local immunity. The main active ingredient for today, which has proven itself in the fight against the human papillomavirus, is imichimod (in Latin Imiquimodum). This specific substance fights inflammation and stimulates the production of interferon **, which helps the human body become stronger and cope with the manifestations of infection on its own. With local use of funds containing the substance imichimod, anogenital warts gradually decrease in size or even completely disappear, and the risk of relapse is reduced. Immunomodulator *** imichimod is actively used to combat genital warts in the countries of the European Union (France, Germany, Italy), in the UK, USA and Japan. Today, various products based on imichimod appeared in Russia. However, even when using such funds, a responsible attitude to sex and strong monogamous relationships, regular consultations and examinations by specialists are important.
* Located in the genital area and anal opening.
** Protein produced by the body in response to a virus attack. Makes cells immune to the virus.
*** A substance that has an effect on the immune system.