Human Papillomavirus rarely causes any alarming symptoms, but certain strains may increase your risk of developing cervical cancer. You can acquire the infection through direct skin-to-skin contact or sexually. The Orlando HPV specialists at Contemporary Women’s Care offer effective and safe treatments and vaccines for HPV to lower your risk of developing HPV-related cancer.
What is HPV?
HPV refers to a viral infection that affects your skin to develop warts. There are several types of human papillomavirus (HPV), each with unique signs and symptoms. Most forms of HPV are harmless and often resolve on their own, but certain strains may trigger cancer development.
Some cancers, such as oropharyngeal, anus, vagina, and penis, are often associated with HPV. HPV infections are usually transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact or sexually. Vaccines can prevent the development of the specific types of HPV that are likely to cause cervical cancer or genital warts.
What symptoms does HPV cause?
HPV infections rarely cause any symptoms, and in most cases, they heal on their own. Your immune system often protects your body against HPV before the development of uncomfortable warts. The different types of warts include:
- Genital warts
Genital warts often occur in the form of small cauliflower bumps or flat lesions. Women may develop genital warts on their vulva, vagina, or cervix. On the other hand, men may develop genital warts on their anus or scrotum. This type of wart does not cause any pain though it may feel itchy or tender in some cases.
- Common warts
Common warts are rough, raised bumps that often develop on your fingers and hands. These warts are not only physically unappealing, but also they can be excruciating and are prone to injury.
- Plantar warts
Plantar warts refer to the hard growths that occur on the balls or heels of your feet. They can cause some discomfort which may limit your motion.
- Flat warts
Flat warts refer to the mildly raised lesions that often occur on the face in children—Beard area in men and legs in women.
A comprehensive test at Contemporary Women’s Care can determine if you have a high-risk HPV and the appropriate treatment. Your doctor may test for HPV during a Pap Smear or by testing swabs of cells from your cervix. An HPV test detects strains of the HPV virus, while a Pap smear detects cell abnormalities that may indicate early stages of cervical cancer.
What factors contribute to the development of HPV?
Several factors may raise your chances of getting HPV. For instance, a high number of sexual partners may increase your risk of contracting genital HPV. Age is also a risk factor considering that common warts are common among children while genital warts often affect young adults and adolescents.
If you also have a weak immune system, your risk of contracting an HPV infection is relatively higher. Punctured or open skin may also make you susceptible to HPV. Touching other people’s warts may also put you at risk of developing an infection.
For a consultation or to get tested for HPV, call Contemporary Women’s Care or book an appointment online.