Beware, Recognize Symptoms, and Prevent Genital Warts
Hello Friends of Hermina, Genital warts or condyloma acuminata is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), characterized by the appearance of lumps or protrusions on the skin or genital (pubic) mucosa. Genital warts are more common in young adults. Nearly 100 types of HPV have been identified, but more than 90% of cases of genital warts are caused by HPV types 6 and 11. Classification of genital HPV infection based on risk is divided into two, namely low risk of infection, such as warts in the anogenital area, and high risk of infection as a cause of cancer cervix, oropharynx, and anus. As many as 70% of cancers are caused by HPV types 16 and 18.
Transmission occurs through sexual contact with someone who is infected. Warts may appear weeks to months from the first contact with infected skin or mucosa. Early detection of genital warts needs to be done as an effort to prevent the risk of cancer. In most cases of genital warts, no symptoms are felt, but in some cases complaints of pain, itching, and discomfort can be found in the infected area. Warts can appear in the pubic area, between the thighs, vulva, vaginal wall, cervix, to the anus in women. In men, warts can appear on the pubic area, between the thighs, penis, testicular sac (scrotum), to the anus. Warts vary in size from small to large, so they are sometimes shaped like a cauliflower. Some can also be shaped like a chicken's comb.
A person with a weakened immune system such as HIV infection, pregnancy, diabetes mellitus, use of drugs that weaken the immune system such as in cases of organ transplants or cancer has a higher risk of infection with HPV. Several supporting tests that can be performed on genital warts include a 5% acetic acid test, histopathological examination, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) examination. The 5% acetic acid test is performed by applying acetic acid to the suspected lesion and is clinically not very clear. After 5 minutes, the lesion that was smeared with liquid will turn white. Histopathological examination is generally performed on suspicious lesions that do not respond to treatment. PCR examination was carried out to determine the type of HPV.
Genital warts are treated based on the size, number, and location of the lesions. Treatment options can be in the form of topical therapy or surgical therapy. Topical therapy with a chemical liquid, namely podophyllin or trichloroacetic acid, is given by tapping the wart directly. Spot therapy can be repeated once a week until the warts are gone from the skin surface. Cryotherapy can also be done by applying liquid nitrogen to the wart surface. Treatment was repeated once a week until the lesions disappeared. Surgical therapy includes electrosurgery (electrocauterization) and surgical excision performed on warts that are large and difficult to remove. After the procedure, the patient is informed to maintain cleanliness and properly care for the wound to prevent bacterial infection and faster wound healing.
Prevention efforts that can be taken to reduce the risk factors for genital warts include behavior changes such as changing partners, unprotected sexual contact (condoms) with different partners, and education about STIs in adolescents from an early age. Screening and tests are also needed to detect possible risks of other STIs and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in someone with genital warts, so that appropriate treatment can be given and symptoms of more severe disease can be prevented. Routine Pap smears should be done for every woman who has had sex to detect the risk of cancer. Giving the HPV vaccine is an effort to prevent the occurrence of genital warts and reduce the risk of cancer. The administration of the HPV vaccine is not limited to women, but men can also be vaccinated.
If a friend of Hermina experiences symptoms of genital warts, immediately consult the nearest doctor so that they can be treated and given the right treatment.