Symptoms, treatment and consequences of Genital Warts

See Diane Tanaka, MD's video on Symptoms, treatment and consequences of Genital Warts...
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Symptoms, treatment and consequences of Genital Warts

So, Genital Warts are contracted through skin to skin contact. So that usually sexual activity is the most common way one can contract HPV, because you need that intimate skin-to-skin contact in order to get it it lives in the genital area. That's where it likes to kind of hide out. It's not like you are going to rub your finger against somebody else's finger and get HPV. You can get another type of wart that way but not Human Papilloma Virus that we are concerned about that is contracted through sexual activity. The symptoms usually you'll see some type of bump or something that looks like a warts, similar to a wart that you would see on your hand or your foot. It would look like that but it's going to be on your penis or around your vaginal area. There is treatment in the sense that we can reduce the size of the wart or we can even may be eradicate it through different methods such as freezing the wart just like you would on your hand or your foot. We also have some mild acids we could use to also eliminate the wart if freezing doesn't work. Usually, freezing is our first line. However, just because we've gotten rid of the visible wart it doesn't mean that we've gotten rid of the virus. So the virus is still present, it's still present inside your body, which means you could have another outbreak months later, weeks later, a year later and it's the same infection that you've had the first time. So you actually might have been infected two years prior, with the prior partner and you may have not even know it because you could of had a sub-clinical infection, where the warts are so tiny they are microscopic and you couldn't even see the warts or any bumps at that time and thought you were fine. And then 2 years later, when you are with your new partner suddenly you see bigger warts and you blame that person when in reality it was the person two years prior. So can be difficult to know when exactly you've got infected, who infected you. The important part really rather than we always want to cast - blame but it may not be possible to figure out exactly who it was.. The more important part is what do you do once you have the infection? And so I would recommend going to see your doctor, your medical provider, getting treatment. because like I said we could freeze the warts, we could use a mild acid. Sometimes there could be lasers that are used to kind of remove the warts that are there. In terms of what do you do about having the virus inside your body? We don't have any oral medication or IV medications that will handle that part of the infection. We just kind of have to wait and see if you have another outbreak of the warts. So once that you know you have Human Papilloma Virus or genital warts and it is present inside your blood stream we unfortunately do not have any treatments to eradicate it from the body. We don't have oral treatments, we don't have IV treatments. So at that point your best bet is to try and limit the spread to other partners. So I recommend that you always use barrier protection like condoms, when you to engage in sexual intercourse so you can protect your partner. Your best bet at this point is vaccination so that you don't even get the virus in the first place.
TEEN, Sexuality and Body Image, STDs

See Diane Tanaka, MD's video on Symptoms, treatment and consequences of Genital Warts...


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Diane Tanaka, MD

Adolescent Medicine Physician

Dr. Tanaka is an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and the medical director of the Homeless Adolescent and Young Adult Wellness Center and the MyVOICE Adolescent Transition Program, both at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Tanaka went to University of California, Davis for medical school and did her residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Tanaka's primary speciality is Adolescent Medicine, and her clinical interests include: menstrual disorders, substance use and abuse, and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections. She currently serves at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and was awarded the Barbara Korsch Medical Education Award at CHLA in 2008 and listed in Castle Connely’s directory of top physicians in 2009.

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