Anal warts are small bumps that can be found in the anal cavity. Anal warts are also called condyloma acuminata and are located inside and outside the anus. Sexually transmitted diseases like human papillomavirus typically cause warts. Anal warts go under the category of genital warts. Warts do not cause any symptoms normally. This is a problem because you can go around with genital warts and not even know it. When you get one wart, it has a tendency to grow and multiply. Anal warts put you at risk for cancer. The best way to treat warts is to get them removed.
Warts are fleshy bumps that can be found in different locations on the body. They are either on the skin or in the mucous membranes. There are four categories of warts:
- Genital Warts
- Plantar Warts
- Common Warts
- Flat Warts
Genital warts are those that grow on the genitalia of both men and women. Sometimes for women they can lead to cervical cancer. Plantar warts grow on the soles of the feet. Common warts are warts that just grow anywhere and a lot of times are found on the hands. Flat warts grow in places where you do a lot of shaving. Most warts are not harmful. They may not even cause any symptoms, but if they do they should be removed.
Anal warts fall under the category of genital warts. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the cause of all four types of warts. HPV is a contagious disease that is spread through contact. If you have one wart, you will more than likely contract others just because of the virus spreading inside your system. HPV has many different strains and in the case of genital warts, it is transmitted through sexual contact. Kids tend to develop warts on their hands that usually go away; this is not because of sexual contact but because they contacted something with a different strain of HPV. Do not get scared if you realize your child has warts. Any warts outside the genitalia typically go away and do not cause any harm.
It is sometimes very difficult to diagnose warts when they do not cause any symptoms. Sometimes the best thing to do is give yourself a check. Look and see if there is anything abnormal or if you feel bumps in the genitalia. If anal warts start to spread, you will feel a lot of clustered bumps in that area. They may even spread to other genitalia. In rare cases, you will have discharge from the anal cavity and experience a lot of itching as well as bleeding. These symptoms are not very common, but if you notice these things, you should see a doctor right away.
Since genital warts is a result of a sexually transmitted disease, the great risk factor is unprotected sex. Coming in contact with an infected person almost always transfers the disease to you. Anal intercourse also puts you at risk for anal warts. Alcohol and tobacco are other risk factors that affect your ability to fight off infection. When your immune system is down, you are susceptible to these types of infections. Your body has trouble fighting off infections, and even minor diseases can become major problems.
Anal warts are diagnosed typically through a visual examination. If warts are seen on the outside of the anal cavity, the doctor will also check inside the anal cavity. The doctor uses a tool called an anoscope to see inside. In women, the doctor may perform a Pap smear. This always the doctor to exam the pelvic region to make sure warts have not spread into that area. This is important because, in women, genital warts can cause cervical cancer. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, treatment must follow.
The best treatment for anal warts is removal, whether that is with cream or cutting it away. If the wart stays, it will multiply and spread. It is much easier to remove one wart than it is to remove twenty.
Larger warts are removed right away. Those warts may be inside or outside the anal cavity, but in both cases, the doctor prefers to take those out. Smaller warts may be treated with cream first, especially if they are on the outside of the anal cavity. Doctors prescribe a cream that is specially made for anal warts. There are over-the-counter wart kits and creams, but those should not be used to treat genital warts. In the office, the doctor may also choose to freeze warts and make them fall off. Location and size are the determining factors for wart treatment.
Anal warts can go unnoticed for years, especially if you are not consistent with your yearly doctor visits. Doctor visits are so important because they may find things that you did not even know you had. Diagnosing and treating anal warts right away prevents other serious diseases like cancer. The best method of prevention is protecting yourself during sexual activity. Make sure you get checked and your partner as well. Stopping anal warts before it starts is the best thing you can.
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