Genital warts are one of the most common and a quite contagious disease passed on during sex. Also known as Condylomata acuminate, penile warts, Condyloma and Venereal Warts, this disease occurs when an individual gets infected with human papilloma virus (HPV).
There are around 40 different types of HPV that can cause genital warts. Occurrence of genital warts is common among sexually active individuals. Women are more prone to get infected with this virus than men. HPV infection is characterized by formation of flesh-colored lump-like growths or lesions in and around the genital areas such as penis, vagina, vulva, cervix, urethra and anus. In case of men, these lesions can also appear under the scrotum, in the groin or on the thighs. Lesions might occur as single or else appear as a cluster. If these warts are left untreated, they can enlarge rapidly and might show as “cauliflower-like” appearance. Rarely, genital warts can also appear in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sex with an infected person.
Symptoms of HPV infection usually take months to appear. The most common symptoms include unusual flesh-colored lesions or growths on the genitals, abnormal vaginal discharge, and increased dampness in the areas of growth, itching in the infected areas, abnormal vaginal bleeding and intense pain during intercourse. Diagnosis of genital warts in women is possible through a genital examination. Endoscopy can be used to observe lesions formed inside the urethra. However, the most common diagnostic procedure for detecting a HPV infection is a Pap smear.
Some important treatment methods for genital warts include cryosurgery, electrocauterization, laser therapy and surgical removal. Genital warts can also treated by applying certain topical creams such as Imiquimod, 20 percent podophyllin anti-mitotic solution, 0.5 percent podofilox solution, 5 percent 5-fluorouracil cream (5-FU) and Trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
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