Understanding Anal Warts

Anal warts can be both frightening and disgusting. Unfortunately, they are also not usually understood very well. Anal warts can frequently be misdiagnosed as hemorrhoids or other anal problems, or even missed entirely if the wart develops under the surface of the skin. If you or someone you know should suffer from anal warts, understanding them is always the first step in getting rid of them for good. Anal warts are actually genital warts that just happen to grow in the anal area. They’re produced by a sexually transmitted virus, the human papillomavirus or HPV.

There is No Cure

There is no known cure for HPV infection, and some strains of it can even contribute to cancer development, so it’s obviously a good idea to keep away from it as much as possible. There are over a hundred strains of HPV in existence today, most of which are relatively harmless. Fortunately, for some reason the strains of HPV that cause anal warts are not linked to cancer, so there’s not much to worry about on the malignant front, but HPV infection is never fun to deal with. Therefore, practicing safe sexual habits is the primary defense against HPV infection and anal warts.

What are anal warts?

Anal warts are soft, moist, usually flesh-colored growths that show up in the area after infection. The incubation period can be weeks or even months, so ascertaining where you got it from can sometimes be difficult. They show up in clumps that frequently resemble cauliflower heads, and can be large, small, raised or flat. They are extremely contagious and pass from person to person by direct skin contact.
It’s important to note that anyone can be infected with HPV and show no symptoms whatsoever while spreading it and later developing complications from it, but warts are frequently one of the most obvious and earliest symptoms.

Complications caused

Complications from anal warts usually involve the loss of tissue elasticity they cause. Anywhere warts are present, the skin cannot stretch or move as much as it used to, which can cause problems with bowel movements. If the skin can’t stretch, it generally tears, which can lead to anal fissures or other complications.

Treatment for Anal Warts

On occasion, anal warts will vanish by themselves, but it’s not reliable enough to justify ignoring the problem.
Anal warts are usually treated pharmaceutically at first, using a variety of topical creams and solutions to try to eliminate the warts. Many of these creams or solutions are caustic in nature, which means they can severely burn your skin, so they’re usually applied by a doctor or nurse in the office.

If these don’t work, your doctor may try to freeze the warts (cryosurgery), cauterize them with electricity (electrocautery) or try lazer surgery to destroy the infected cells.

Should your warts be large enough, you may have to go in for traditional surgery, which is always painful and can carry significant risks.

You’ll want to keep a watch for anal warts even after the first batch is removed, as the virus still exists within your body and the warts can come back.

Usually, if they haven’t come back for six months after your most recent treatment, you can be pretty sure that you’re done with them.

By acting quickly and in partnership with your doctor, you can keep HPV from impacting your quality of life and remain in control of your own health.

About Author:

Donald writes considerably about differentiating between hemorrhoids and, for example anal warts, and anal skin tags.