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Human Papillomavirus Infection (HPV): Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

human papillomavirus infection

What is human papillomavirus (HPV)?

HPV or human papillomavirus causes the development of warts in the genital parts of the body. It is a sexually transmitted disease similar to HIV or human immunodeficiency virus and herpes. This condition is more common in women as compared to men.

HPV identifies itself as a condition that triggers life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. Thankfully, oral drugs are available to suppress the infection and stop the virus from causing other health complications. Besides the usage of antiviral drugs, people can also use vaccine to prevent the infection.

Like other STDs, it requires antiviral medications to treat this condition. Your healthcare professional will prescribe you a specific type of antiviral drug that fits the severity of this disease. Following the prescription will help suppress the virus and prevent other HPV-related complications from happening.

What are the signs of HPV?

The symptoms of this condition are as follows. Note that these signs appear immediately when the infection occurs. Watch out for these symptoms and let your healthcare professional know about your condition. Early treatment is better to ensure that the infection will not progress.

Symptoms for genital warts:

  • Stemlike protrusions
  • Inflammation or redness
  • Cauliflower-like bumps

Note: These symptoms develop in the genital parts of the body. Men also experience genital warts; however, the severity of their condition is less compared to women.

Flat Warts

  • Warts on the face and legs
  • Skin lesions

Common Warts

  • Bumps on the fingers
  • Bleeding fingers
  • Painful lesions

Plantar Warts

  • Grainy warts on the feet
  • Skin lesions
  • Hard bumps

Susceptibility or Complications of the Infection 

Susceptibility to this infection is possible under the following factors:

  • Age – Individuals who are already 50 years old and above are more susceptible to the infection. However, younger adults can also acquire the infection if they engage in unprotected sex.
  • Weakened immune system – The body’s immune system fight against infections and diseases. However, when it is impaired, it cannot operate and function. This invites opportunistic infections from emerging.
  • Multiple sexual partners – This factor covers a lot of sexually transmitted infections or diseases. Besides HPV, having multiple sexual partners can put you at risk of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), and herpes.

Here are the complications of the condition if treatment is not administered.

  • Lesions (nose, larynx, tonsils, tongue, and palate)
  • Cancer involving the genitals, such as cervical cancer

Should these complications occur, report your condition to your healthcare professional immediately. Human papillomavirus is a serious illness. It must have an accurate treatment to inhibit severe complications, such as cervical cancer.

What is the available treatment?

The following drugs provide medical relief to an individual with HPV. Your healthcare professional will decide which of these drugs is right for you to consume. Some factors that the healthcare professional will consider are your age, height, medical history, and other forms of medications you are currently following.

  • Imiquimod
  • Podofilox
  • Podophyllin

Meanwhile, to alleviate genital warts, laser therapy and cryotherapy may be administered. These therapies are only performed in clinics or hospitals. If your healthcare professional recommends any of these therapies, ask about the result and adverse reactions that you can get after the surgery.

HPV vaccines

Get vaccinated today. An HPV vaccine is available for individuals to obtain. Besides a vaccine, use condoms or any protective barriers when engaging in sexual activity. Washing your hands frequently and not sharing personal items with others will prevent human papillomavirus acquisition and spread.

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