Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a virus that can cause cancer in small percentages of men and women. The virus tends to cause warts and noncancerous tumors. The warts can appear on hands, feet, or genitals, but not all strands of HPV can cause warts. There are more than 200 different kinds of HPV and only 40 are spread through sexual intercourse. Many of the strains do not cause any symptoms or problems.
Today, there are many early detection signs as well as prevention paths. The number of cancer cases due to HPV have decreased over the last decade because of these measures. HPV, like other contagious skin disorders, is developed through skin to skin contact. Your skin has to come into contact with someone who is infected with HPV, and you have to contact the infected area. If you are infected, the virus can be subclinical, which means it can live under the skin without causing any symptoms. Many people have HPV and do not know it. Even if there are no symptoms, if you have it, you could spread it to someone else.
The only way to know whether or not you have HPV is to have continual, regular tests. Women need to go in for annual exams in order to stay up on early detection. If you feel as if you have come into contact with someone who might have HPV or another contagious skin disorder, we recommend that you come in for tests and exams sooner than your regular annual exam.
Questions with this type of virus are common and it is best to get answers directly from your doctor so you can ensure you have all of the right information. Schedule a consultation at Rao Dermatology if you have any concerns and you can talk them over with one of our medical providers. Together we can help you can learn more about prevention and symptoms. This will ensure that you will recognize any signs and symptoms soon and get the help and treatment you need as quickly as possible.
At Rao Dermatology, we offer diagnosis and treatment options for many different conditions of the hair, skin and nails. Because HPV could lead to cancer, it’s important to remember that you are getting screened for it annually. Our medical team, led by Dr. Babar Rao, will work with you to answer any questions you may have. Should you be diagnosed with HPV, we can create a treatment plan that is right for you. Contact Rao Dermatology today to learn more.