Condyloma acuminata, or commonly known as genital warts, are types of sexually transmitted infections (STI) that is characterized by small skin-colored growths at the surrounding area of the vagina and the anus. It’s considered as one of the most common types of STI, and it affects more women than men.
Read more as we are going to discuss how are genital warts infection transmitted from person to person and other important information about this low-risk kind of human papillomaviruses.
Causes Of The Infection
Genital warts infection is caused by HPV, specifically the type 6 and type 11, which results in warts, and the types 16 and types 18, which often lead to cervical cancer. The former 2 types as indicated do not typically lead to cancer.
As always mentioned, genital warts often show pink or skin-toned warts, ranging from smooth and flat to raised with a rough texture. These warts are often seen in the labia or the surrounding opening of the vagina, but can also be found around the opening and/or inside of the anus of an infected person after having anal sex with her partner.
Other symptoms of the genital warts STI may also include itching, burning sensation, and the tenderness of the vaginal area, while women with visible warts do not usually experience these indicated symptoms.
How Is It Transmitted?
The HPV causing genital warts is spread from another person through direct skin-to-skin contact, the common mode of transmission being through sexual contact, fellatio (oral sex), anal sex, and other kinds of contact involving the genital area of the infected person. And contrary to popular belief, infection of genital warts through touching of the toilet seat is really impossible as the HPV cannot live longer apart from its host. Though, there are cases when an infected person without visible warts can still infect another person when engaged in sexual intercourse.
The Most Effective Treatments For Genital Warts
There are different ways of treating genital warts, from topical cream (or liquid) applications to medical surgical procedures. And in this section, we are going to tackle some of the effective treatments for curing genital warts:
Podophyllin – This treatment is done to destroy the wart tissue. To do this, the physician or nurse will apply the solution at the infected area using a cotton swab, let it sit for at least 2 hours, and then wash it afterward. Podophyllin treatment is done weekly until the warts are completely cleared.
One important thing to remember though is podophyllin is not recommended for pregnant women. Likewise, you may experience mild irritation and skin ulcers while undergoing the treatment.
Podofilox – This liquid of gel solution is applied to the infected area using a cotton swab for 2 times a day for 3 straight days. Then, wait for another 4 days and repeat the entire process until the warts have disappeared.
Imiquimod – Also known as Aldara, this cream is used to trigger the body’s immune system to remove warts. Imiquimod can be applied before bedtime and wash the affected area the morning after. Repeat the process 3 times a week for the next 16 weeks or up until the genital area is cleared of warts.
Surgical Treatments – And lastly, these treatments for genital warts infection are only done when a large number of warts are found around the vagina or anus and cannot be removed simply by topical creams and liquids:
- Cryotherapy (Freezing warts using a chemical, requires no anesthesia)
- Electrocautery (Burning warts using electrical power, requires local anesthesia)
- Excision (Surgically removing warts, requires local anesthesia
- Laser (Removing warts using laser, requires local anesthesia)