Condylomata acuminata or genital warts are symptoms of a viral disease caused by some types of HPV. They are skin growths and look like a small spot or tiny cauliflower. However, there are differences in their morphology in each case. They are usually skin-coloured and are neither itchy nor painful.
Nevertheless, if genital warts are not treated in time, they may eventually grow and cause pain. Their size is small and many times they are invisible to the naked eye. In this case they are subclinical or flat warts and people may not know that they are infected with HPV.
They are detected with a solution, which is applied to the infected area. What is important for people to know is that genital warts are benign growths that are not related to cancer, even if they look scary.
In men genital warts mainly appear on the scrotum, on the penis, around the anus and on the groin. In women they can be found in the vulva, the vagina and around the anus or more rarely on the cervix. When our body’s immune system clears the symptoms of the virus, HPV is considered inactive but it actually undergoes a latency period.
A cure for HPV has not been found so far. There is only treatment for symptoms. Clinical symptoms may be quite annoying and repulsive but there are several ways to treat them. Some treatments are provided in a clinic while others can be given at home. Most effective forms of treatment are:
- Podophyllotoxin and Imiquimod cream
- Trichloroacetic acid and podophyllin
- 5-fluorouracil cream.
Physically ablative methods
- Cryosurgery, Electrocauterization, Laser
- Excision (with a biopsy forceps or a scalpel)
Physically ablative methods are used in rare cases of genital warts appearing on the cervix. Vaginal and anal warts require special attention as the wall of the vagina and the intestine is quite thin. Cryosurgery is avoided in this case; laser ablation is recommended instead.