Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV infection (Human Papillomavirus) is known as the most common STI today. This infection can affect any person who is sexually active. It is a virus that can cause the growth of warts in various parts of the body.

There are about 60 types of HPV that cause warts and usually infect parts of the body such as the feet and hands. While the 40 other types trigger the appearance of genital warts. Not all this infection can cause cancer. However, there are several types of HPV that are dangerous such as HPV 16 and HPV 18.

The viruses have the potential to trigger the occurrence of cervical cancer. The most HPV infection is the result of the direct touch of skin to skin with the sufferer and sexual intercourse or contact with genitals.

HPV Infection Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

HPV Causes

This infection is caused by human papillomavirus and the most widespread is by sexually transmitted infection today. There are over 200 different types of HPV, most of which are relatively harmless.

The human papillomavirus can infect basal epithelial skin cells, as well as inner-lining tissues. There are certain risk factors that can increase people’s chance of acquiring HPV infection:

  • Age
  • Early age of sexual debut
  • Oral contraceptive use
  • Number of sexual partners
  • Physical contact with the person’s warts
  • Damaged skin
  • Weakened immune system
  • Smoking

HPV Symptoms

This infection tends to cause no symptoms. So, it is rarely recognized by the person. Our immune system usually will eradicate this infection before it causes symptoms so it does not require treatment.

But if the body does not successfully eradicate the virus, HPV infection with certain types potentially causes cervical cancer. If the infection reaches the stage of symptoms, the main indication is the growth of warts. Here are the most common types of warts:

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  • Flat Warts. Flat warts can appear anywhere. These lesions are darker than your skin, flat-topped, and slightly raised.
  • Plantar Warts. It is identified as hard and grainy growths. These are usually found on the heels of your feet.
  • Common Warts. These rough, raised bumps are often seen on the elbows, hands, and fingers.
  • Genital Warts. It is caused by any of over 40 types of HPV strains and is contagious that may be passed on through skin-to-skin sexual contact.
HPV Infection Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

HPV Treatment

While no cure for HPV currently exists. There are some ways to manage the symptoms of the appearance of warts. The conventional strategies include:

  • Topical Medications. The medicines are trichloroacetic acid (TCA), imiquimod, podophyllin, and podofilox.
  • Cryotherapy. This is using liquid nitrogen to freeze the abnormal cells.
  • Cone Biopsy or Conization. It is performed to remove the abnormal areas.
  • Laser Therapy. This technique uses laser light to burn away the abnormal cell.
  • Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. This uses an electrical current to remove abnormal cells.

In treating warts by surgical treatments above are usually recommended as a last resort. The following are the holistic remedies to help alleviate warts and clear up the infection.

  • Tea Tree Oil. Dilute a drop of TTO in one or two drops of coconut oil and then apply it to the wart.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. It is believed that the acidity of the vinegar can help kill HPV.
  • Green Tea
  • Garlic