There are over 100 different types of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which can cause skin diseases such as verruca vulgaris, condylomata, acuminata, genital warts, or venereal warts. Most of these types are considered low-risk. Different types of low-risk HPV cause warts on specific areas of the body, such as the genitals and anus, and others cause warts on the hands, feet, and other parts of the body. Although it is possible, cancer is rarely caused by the types of HPV that cause warts. High-risk types of HPV cause nearly invisible growths on the cervix that can become cancerous.
HPV is transmitted through direct and indirect contact with infected skin. Transmission through indirect contact is less common but can occur more easily if there is a break in the skin. Possible methods of indirect transmission can include using a towel or loofah shortly after an infected party, or by touching a surface immediately after it has had contact with someone who is infected.
This also means that for genital warts, intercourse is not required to transmit the virus and that the use of condoms is not an effective means of protection, because infected areas of skin can be well outside the area covered by the prophylactic. Not everyone who contracts HPV will develop genital warts. Symptoms can take weeks to appear, or months, or in some cases never, but a lack of symptoms does not prevent an individual from carrying and transmitting the virus.
Through patient education and vigilant monitoring, we enable our patients to actively participate in their own healthcare. When prevention is not enough, we offer the most innovative non-invasive treatments, and surgical options when necessary. Most cases of low-risk HPV can be diagnosed upon examination by a dermatologist. In some cases, a skin sample, or biopsy, will be taken to confirm diagnosis.
There are various methods of removal, some non-invasive, and some surgical. Non-invasive methods of removal include acid applications, cryotherapy, and antiviral medications.
We can also offer removal by simple injection and electrodessication. These methods are surgical, but require only a quick local anesthetic, and are the fastest and most complete solutions for removal.