Diseases & Medicine

Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection; symptoms and prevention

HPV infection is a virus that produces growths on the skin or mucous membranes (warts). There are about 100 different types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Some HPV infections produce warts, while others might lead to other cancers.

The majority of HPV infections do not result in cancer. However, some forms of genital HPV can develop cancer of the lower uterus, which attaches to the vaginal canal (cervix). Other malignancies have been related to HPV infection, including cancers of the anus, penis, vagina, vulva, and back of the neck (oropharyngeal).

 

These diseases are frequently transmitted by sexual intercourse or other forms of skin-to-skin contact. Vaccines can help protect you against some strains that might cause genital warts or cervical cancer.

Symptoms

An HPV infection is usually defeated by your body’s immune system before it causes warts. When warts do form, their appearance varies depending on which kind of HPV is present:

  • Genital warts can develop on the penis, scrotum, or around the anus in males. Though they may itch or feel sensitive, genital warts seldom cause discomfort or pain.Genital warts in a woman
  • Common warts. Common warts are rough, raised lumps that most commonly develop on the hands and fingers. Common warts are unattractive in most situations, but they can also be unpleasant or prone to damage or bleeding.
  • Plantar warts are warts on the soles of the feet. Plantar warts are hard, gritty growths on the heels or balls of your feet. These warts might be bothersome.Can You Recognize Plantar Warts on Feet?
  • Warts on the genital area. Flat lesions, little cauliflower-like lumps, or tiny stemlike protrusions can all be seen. Genital warts are most commonly found on the vulva in women, although they can also be found near the anus, on the cervix, or in the vagina.
  • Flat Warts. Flat warts are slightly elevated lesions with a flat top. They can appear anywhere, although they are most commonly found on children’s faces and in men’s beards. Women are more likely to acquire them on their legs.

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is almost always caused by HPV infections, however it can take up to 20 years for cervical cancer to develop following an HPV infection. HPV infection and cervical cancer in its early stages are usually asymptomatic. The best way to avoid cervical cancer is to be vaccinated against HPV infection.

Because early cervical cancer has no symptoms, women should get frequent screenings to detect any precancerous changes in the cervix that might progress to cancer. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should undergo a Pap test every three years, according to current recommendations.

Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should get a Pap test every three years, or every five years if the HPV DNA test is done at the same time. If a woman over 65 has had three normal Pap tests in a succession, or two HPV DNA and Pap tests with no abnormal findings, she can cease testing.

Causes

The virus infects you when it enters your body by a cut, abrasion, or a tiny tear in your skin. Skin-to-skin contact is the most common way for the virus to spread.

HPV infections in the vaginal area are spread through sexual contact, anal sex, and other skin-to-skin contact. Oral intercourse is the source of certain HPV infections that cause oral or upper respiratory lesions.

It’s conceivable that if you’re pregnant and have an HPV infection with genital warts, your kid will catch the virus. The infection may produce a noncancerous development in the baby’s voice box on rare occasions (larynx).

Warts can be spread from person to person. Direct touch with a wart might cause them to spread.

Warts can also spread if someone comes into contact with something that has already been touched by a wart.

Risk factors

Infections with the human papillomavirus (HPV) are very common.

HPV infection can be caused by a number of causes, including:

 

  • The number of sexual partners.  You are more prone to develop a genital HPV infection if you have several sexual partners. Having intercourse with someone who has had numerous sex partners puts you at a higher danger.
  • Age. The majority of people who get common warts are youngsters. Adolescents and young adults are the most common victims of genital warts.
  • Immune systems that have been compromised. HPV infections are more likely in those with weaker immune systems. HIV/AIDS and immune system-suppressing medications used after organ transplants can impair immune systems.
  • Skin that has been damaged. Common warts are more likely to form in areas of skin that have been pierced or opened.
  • Contact with a person. Touching someone’s warts or not wearing protective clothing before coming into touch with surfaces that have been exposed to HPV, such as public showers or swimming pools, might increase your chance of contracting the virus.

Complications

 

  • Lesions in the mouth and upper respiratory tract. HPV infections can cause lesions on the tongue, tonsils, soft palate, and throat and nose.
  • Cancer. Cervical cancer can be caused by certain HPV strains. Cancers of the genitals, anus, mouth, and upper respiratory system may also be linked to these strains.

Prevention

Common warts prevention

HPV infections that produce common warts are difficult to avoid. If you have a common wart, don’t pick at it or bite your nails to prevent the infection from spreading and the creation of additional warts.

Warts on the soles of the feet

Wear shoes or sandals in public pools and locker rooms to minimize the chance of getting HPV infections that cause plantar warts.

Warts on the genital area

You can lower your chances of getting genital warts and other HPV-related genital lesions by doing the following:

  • Being in a sexual relationship that is mutually monogamous
  • Limiting the amount of sex partners you have
  • Using a latex condom, which can help prevent HPV transmission.

Vaccines against HPV

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized three HPV vaccinations. Gardasil 9, the most current, is a vaccine that protects against cervical cancer and genital warts in males and females aged 9 to 45.

Routine HPV vaccination is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for girls and boys aged 11 and 12, however it can be administered as early as age 9. It’s best if girls and boys get the vaccination before having sexual contact and becoming infected with HPV. According to research, getting the vaccination while you’re young isn’t connected to starting sexual activity sooner.

.Once someone is infected with HPV, the vaccination may be less effective or ineffective altogether. In addition, younger children had a stronger reaction to the vaccination than older children. The vaccination, however, can prevent most occurrences of cervical cancer if administered before someone becomes infected.

Instead of the previously suggested three-dose regimen, the CDC now advises that all 11- and 12-year-olds receive two doses of HPV vaccination at least six months apart. The revised two-dose regimen is also available to younger adolescents (ages 9 and 10) and teens (ages 13 and 14). For youngsters under the age of 15, research has indicated that a two-dose regimen is beneficial.

Teens and young adults who start the vaccination series later, between the ages of 15 and 26, should have three doses of the vaccine.

All persons under the age of 26 who have not been fully vaccinated should now receive catch-up HPV vaccines, according to the CDC.

ADVERTISMENT

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button