Anyone can be affected by genital warts due to a variety of reasons. The key is to identify the problem early and take appropriate medical steps to address the condition.
Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides advanced dermatology treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding communities.
How to Manage Genital Warts
The following approaches can help reduce a person’s risk of contracting HPV and genital warts:
Get an HPV vaccine
In case a person is aged between 9 and 26 years, they may be eligible for an HPV vaccine. There are two HPV vaccines.
One of these vaccines is “quadrivalent,” which means that it offers protection against four types of HPV. This vaccine is for males and females between the ages of 9 and 26 years.
It can prevent the types of HPV that cause a majority of genital warts. A person will need to get three shots to be fully vaccinated. A person should get all three shots prior to their first sexual encounter for the vaccine to be most effective.
Both HPV vaccines offer protection to women from most forms of cervical cancer.
Use a condom during sex
A latex condom may decrease the risk of contracting genital warts. Condoms do not cover all skin in the genital region. For this reason, they do not always prevent an infected person from spreading HPV.
Limit the number of sex partners
Engaging in sex with multiple partners increases a person’s risk of getting HPV. This risk is lower when a person is in a faithful relationship with one person. The only sure way to prevent HPV is to remain celibate, which means never to have oral, anal, or vaginal sex.
Research indicates that smokers are at a higher risk of developing genital warts in comparison to non-smokers.
Coping with genital warts
A dermatologist may recommend the following to people:
Do not use medicine meant for the treatment of other types of warts. Other medications are good for the treatment of common warts and foot warts, but not genital warts. A patient should consult a dermatologist for the treatment of genital warts.
People with genital warts should inform their sex partners and consult a doctor.
Use a condom during sex
It is important to use a condom during sex. A latex condom may be helpful in reducing the risk of spreading genital warts. Condoms do not cover all the skin in the genital region, meaning that condoms do not always prevent an infected individual from spreading HPV.
Get Pap tests (smears). Women who have undergone treatment for genital warts should receive Pap tests (smears) as recommended by their doctors. Pap tests are the ideal way to detect early abnormal changes in the cervix, and this can prevent death from cervical cancer. In case a woman has an abnormal Pap test, she should follow up with their doctor.
It can be life-changing to get genital warts, and the patient may find it reassuring to talk to others and join support groups.
Why are Pap smears and biopsies performed?
The Pap smear checks for changes in the cervix that could occur due to an HPV infection. It can also check for cervical cancer. Cancer in the cervix can be cured with early treatment.
There is a close relationship between HPV infection and cervical cancer. Therefore, women with HPV must be monitored cautiously for cancer.
The types of HPV that lead to genital warts tend to be different from the ones that cause cancer. But as patients can be infected with more than one type of HPV infection, it is vital to stay on track with cervical cancer screening recommendations and appointments as directed by the doctor.
Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for dermatologic as well as medical spa procedures.
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.