HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is an infection of the skin or mucous membranes. Most types of HPV are minor infections which do not lead to significant health conditions. Some, however, may cause warts and others may lead to serious health problems.
The HPV virus is actually quite common. Most people experience some form of HPV infection at some time in their lives, but only a very small number of cases are actually dangerous.
HPV Basic Facts
What you need to know about the fundamental facts and issues regarding HPV are pretty straightforward as follows:
- HPV is classified as an STD
- HPV is in fact a name for a group of viruses
- a pap smear is required for identification of HPV
- many of these HPV viruses show no symptoms whatsoever
- women aged 21 to 65 are the primary risk group for dangerous forms of HPV
- the types of HPV which cause cancer often have no visible symptoms at all
- the types of HPV which usually cause warts on the hands or genitals are Types 1 and 2 HPV
- HPV warts are contagious, and in the case of genital warts, practicing safe sex is an absolute must
- only a very few types of HPV pose a risk of cancer, i.e. cervical, anal, vulva, vaginal, penal, sinus, nasal, oral
- there are two vaccines available that are highly effective in preventing persistent infections with some HPV types
- HPV can be contracted by physical contact with contaminated surfaces, as well as skin-to-skin and/or sexual contact with an infected person
And maintaining a healthy immune system, via balanced diet and regular movement, is vital in keeping your HPV either under control or even in clearing it completely.
HPV Warts – What to Do About Them
The major problem with HPV warts is that although they are basically harmless of themselves, they look terrible and they can be embarrassing. Some warts can cause problems because they bleed or create lesions, which can be extremely uncomfortable.
What you can do about external warts is apply a gentle wart remover yourself or ask your health care provider to remove them for you. And your warts may come back within a few months, so several treatments might be necessary.