With more than 100 types of human papillomavirus (HPV) with 30 of which cause sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), the need to take extra precaution is more important than ever. High- risk HPV types 16 and 18 can cause cancer in both men and women. Cancers such as cervical cancer that kills thousands of women world-wide each year. When the abnormal cells are found during a (Pap test) your health care provider will perform one of several procedures for HPV removal.
HPV types 6 and 11 are none cancerous and cause common warts like those found on children’s hands, they also cause most genital warts.
Women and men that have multiple sexual partners should see their health care provider’s once a year for an (STD) exam, because they have a greater chance of being infected with HPV. The precancerous HPV cells can become life threatening. Genital warts are commonly found in woman on the vulva, anus and on the cervix and in the vagina.
Pregnant women should see their health care providers before using any HPV treatment. Some over the counter treatments could cause her irreversible damage as well as her baby. Her health care provider may choose to remove the warts to prevent damage to the mother and to prevent the baby from becoming infected.
Men may also have HPV genital warts and will at times need them removed as well. The warts may not be visible to an infected man, but a healthcare provider can detect them during an STD exam. Genital warts are found on a man’s penis, scrotum, thighs and around the anus. It is rare, but HPV infection may also be found in the mouth or throat.
There are a number of treatments for HPV removal that your health care provider will make available to you such as those listed below.
- Imiquimod cream
- 20% podophyllin antimitotic solution
- 5% -5 fluorouracil cream
- Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)
- 0.5% podofilox solution
When possible your health care provider may choose to use HPV removal for small warts by using one of three methods.
- Freezing (cryosurgery)
- Burning (electrocautery)
- Laser treatment
Some warts that are to large and do not respond to any of the above treatments may need to be removed surgically.
An antiviral drug (Alpha Interferon) may be injected directly into warts that have returned after they have been removed. The drug Alpha Interferon is very expensive and offers no guarantee the warts will not return. Most insurance companies will not cover this type of treatment due to the fact the warts may return.
If there is a chance that you have become infected with HPV call your health care provider immediately for an appointment. While you are talking to your health care provider ask them about a warts treatment for your outbreaks.