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Genital Warts

Definition:

A genital wart is a contagious, projecting fleshy growth on the external genitals or anus, consisting of fibrous overgrowths covered by a thickened epithelium (outer layer).

Genital warts are due to sexual contact with a person infected with human papillomavirus (HPV); they are usually benign (non-cancerous), but many subtypes have the potential for malignant (cancerous) change.

Signs & Symptoms:

Genital warts are transmitted through sexual activity. You may not begin to develop warts for several weeks after infection.

The warts are not always visible to the human eye. They may be very small and the color of the skin or slightly darker. The top of the growths may resemble a cauliflower and may feel smooth or slightly bumpy to the touch. An infected person may have a cluster of warts, or just one wart.

Genital warts on males may appear on the following areas:

penis

scrotum

groin

thighs

inside or around the anus

Genital warts in females may appear on the following area:

inside of the vagina or anus

outside of the vagina or anus

cervix

Genital warts may also appear on the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat of a person who has had oral sexual contact with an infected person.

Even if you cannot see genital warts, they may still cause symptoms, such as:

vaginal discharge

itching

bleeding

burning

If genital warts spread or become enlarged, the condition can be uncomfortable or even painful.

Cause:

Most cases of genital warts are caused by HPV. And there are more than 70 types of HPV that specifically affect the genitals. The HPV virus is highly transmittable through skin-to-skin contact, which is why it is considered a STI.

In fact, HPV is so common that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that most sexually active people get it at some point  the key difference is whether the virus leads to complications like genital warts.

Genital warts are caused by different strains of HPV that cause warts on your hands or other parts of the body that don’t include the genital. A wart cant spread from someone’s hand to the genitals, and vice versa.

How To Cure:

  1. Try over-the-counter solutions. HPV is becoming such a common thing that the number of products available is spreading like wildfire. Take a trip to your local Wal-Mart and see what they have available next to the aspirin and Neosporin.

Many users main complaint about these is that it just takes too long. Generally, you’ll be looking at at least a few weeks before you start noticing results. If you have the time, these are pain-free and FDA approved.

  1. Look for products with salicylic acid. This is one of the safest, most popular treatments — but it can take months. Compound W and Occlusal are two products that use salicylic acid to soften the warts, aiding in their eventual non-existence. It’s the same stuff used in most acne medications.

With salicylic acid, it’s best to soak the wart in water first, apply the acid, and leave it overnight. Cover the area with a bandage or cloth so it doesn’t rub off on your sheets.

  1. Try castor oil. This stuff has been used for ages for numerous medical purposes. If you can’t stand the smell (it’s rather potent!), mix it with a better smelling oil, like peppermint. There are a couple different ways to go about this method:

Soak a cotton ball in the stuff and tape onto the wart. Change it three times a day, or as desired.[1]

Make a paste with baking soda and apply to the wart. Reapply every few hours. To avoid getting the mixture on your clothes, cover with gauze or a bandage.

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