Human papilloma virus is one of the most common and is present in the body of 90% of the world's population. Most of its bearers are not even aware of its presence and do not find any suspicious signs in themselves. Due to that, it became widespread.
What are papillomas?
Papilloma is a benign pathological formation of viral etiology. The appearance of papillomas is caused by the action of human papilloma virus (HPV). It most often manifests itself on the skin in the form of cosmetic defects - warts and genital warts, in the larynx it can lead to respiratory failure, and on the mucous membrane of internal organs to bleeding and ulceration. There are 27 types of HPV - some of which are safe for health, others can develop into malignant tumors and lead to cancer.
When identifying, special attention should be paid to women, because they have a high risk of developing cervix. Pregnant women during gestation are at risk of infecting their baby.
HPV is characterized by a latent course, and while a person has strong immunity, the virus does not manifest itself in any way (incubation period lasts from 2 weeks to several years). Under the influence of a number of factors, the virus is activated, multiplies and manifests itself clinically.
Cause of papilloma virus infection
Ways of HPV infection:
- unprotected sex
- contact with the skin and mucous membranes of the infected
- use of personal belongings of the bearer
- when visiting public places with high humidity and crowds (swimming pool, sauna, beaches)
The most common sexual route is virus infection, home routes are rarely recorded because the virus lives in the environment for a short time.
Virus activation is facilitated by:
- weakened immunity
- infectious diseases
- disturbed gastrointestinal tract
- exacerbation of chronic diseases
- long-term use of a number of drugs (antibiotics, anticoagulants, etc. )
- smoking, alcohol abuse
- severe stress
The penetration of HPV is facilitated by microtraumas, cracks, scratches and other skin damage.
Symptoms of papilloma
Symptoms depend on the location of the formation and the type of HPV. The first "bell" about the presence of the virus is an external manifestation in the form of genital warts (usually appearing in intimate places) and warts (often formed on the face, neck, limbs).
Less commonly, papillomas are accompanied by symptoms such as:
- peeling, itching, redness (of the skin)
- discomfort when walking (genitals)
- discharge from the nipple (breast ducts)
- shortness of breath (larynx)
- painful bowel movement (bowel)
Diagnosis of papilloma
The diagnosis is made by a venereologist, dermatologist, immunologist or gynecologist / urologist.
- Clinical examination - visual examination and conversation with the patient.
- Laboratory and instrumental analyzes are prescribed in order to get a complete picture of the disease:
- general and biochemical blood test
- PCR test (polymerase chain reaction) - determines the type of virus and its amount in the body.
If the only method of treatment is papilloma removal, then a biopsy of the material is performed in parallel in order to conduct a cytological study and determine the oncological risk.
Methods of treatment
There are no drugs or methods that can completely eliminate HPV from the human body. Impacts are performed only on the consequences of the virus. General antiviral therapy is performed in cases of highly oncogenic virus types localized in the region of the anogenetic tract. Patients with previously diagnosed papillomas are advised to systematically examine and use barrier contraception in order not to infect their partner with the virus.
Removal of papillomas is recommended, because the virus in epithelial cells causes them to multiply, create new ones or regenerate existing papillomas.
Depending on the location and symptoms of papillomas, the following removal methods are used:
- Laser surgery - papilloma is treated with a surgical laser beam. This method does not require hospitalization, and the damaged area heals fairly quickly. The laser is used on the face and visible parts of the body.
- Radiosurgery is a non-contact exposure to high-frequency radio waves, under the influence of which the neoplasm is eliminated. This method is recognized as effective, but expensive.
- Cryodestruction - freezing the neoplasm with liquid nitrogen. Scars may remain at the site of exposure.
- Chemical destruction - cauterization with chemical acids. The procedure is quite sensitive and there is a high risk of touching adjacent tissues and getting chemical burns.
- Surgical excision - rarely used, in cases of suspected malignant process.
- Folk remedies - moxibustion foci with folk remedies (garlic, celandine, lemon balm, cabbage leaf, castor oil and others)
Vaccines are currently being developed to prevent highly oncogenic virus types (types 16 and 18), which are used in many countries.
For the prevention of the disease, protected sexual intercourse, use of personal hygiene products, strengthening of the immune system and regular examinations by immunologists and gynecologists are recommended. If you notice symptoms of HPV, it is recommended that you see a doctor immediately.