How to Get Rid of Human Papillomavirus
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause infections in humans. A person who has an HPV infection could have caught any of the 100 or more types of human papillomavirus. Each type of HPV can cause warts in different parts of the human body, including the genitals, hands, or feet. The warts or skin lesions affecting the upper respiratory tract and mouth are other known signs of an HPV infection. Although most HPV infections do not cause cancer, some can lead to cervical cancer in women, and anal and penile cancer in men. Human papillomavirus itself cannot be completely eliminated, but the signs of infection can be reduced through treatment.
As we have said, HPV has no cure but when it appears it's possible to treat the lesions that the different symptoms cause. To treat warts, you can resort to treatments such as topical creams or lotions that have substances that act activating cells in the immune system that attack and destroy the virus. Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen, surgical operations or the use of laser techniques are other ways of getting rid of warts, but all of them must be recommended by a specialist beforehand.
In other lighter cases, let the body's immune system take over. In most cases, the immune system will destroy the warts and, if necessary, they will disappear on their own without treatment. Some treatments for HPV include using imiquimod (Aldara) to increase the immune system's capacity to get rid of HPV and therefore eliminate the warts.
Though not frequent, there are types of high-risk HPV that can last for years in the organism and derive into uterine cervix or anal cancer. In these circumstances, the treatment can include curgical operations, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, amongst others.
If you want to prevent infections caused by HPV, Cervarix and Gardasil are available for girls and women aged between 9 and 26. Both vaccines prevent HPV types 16 and 18, which cause cervical cancer. Gardasil is also available for boys and men aged between 9 and 26 and prevents infection from HPV types 6 and 11, which cause genital warts in men and women.
Note that these are only effective if you have not had sexual intercourse or are sure you do not have HPV, though remember these vaccinations will not give you 100% immunity to this disease.
Controlling the spread of the virus is also vitally important. Human papillomavirus is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact and can enter the body through a cut or a small tear in the skin. Be monogamous and make sure your partner is monogamous. Using a condom made out of latex can help control the spread of HPV infection to some extent. Avoid picking at common warts because this spreads the infection. Reduce the risk of catching verrucas on your feet, by keeping them clean and by wearing suitable footwear when in common areas such as changing rooms and public swimming pools.
Women should go to gynaecological check-ups every so often in order to prevent HPV. Women can be tested through a vaginal cytology and men can visit the urologist or specialist once a year and do the same if they notice any alteration.
Though it's not frequent, there are types of high risk HPV that can last for many years within the body and can derive in uterine cervix cancer or anus cancer. In these circumstances, treatment may include surgical intervention, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
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- Regular smear tests can lead to early detection of cervical cancer caused by the HPV infection.
- Teenagers and children are more vulnerable to HPV infection. It is better to have them vaccinated before they catch it.