Treatments for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, depend on the health problems that result from the virus as well as the affected zones. This virus can produce warts, premalignant lesions and even cancer.
In approximately 90% of the cases, our body is able to eliminate HPV (although not completely) thanks to our body’s immune system. Currently, there is no medical treatment to treat the virus its entirety. Despite this, there are different treatments available that eliminate genital warts and other common manifestations of the virus.
HPV preventative measures are extremely important. However, early detection and treatment are fundamental to keep it under control .
You should know that if you’re are a carrier of the virus, you will always be a carrier. It is unlikely that your body will 100% eliminate it.
Treating the human papillomavirus
Genital warts are a very common symptom in patients with HPV. In men, the virus causes small bumps around the penis and/or anus. In women, they tend to appear in the vulva, vagina or on the cervix.
However, it’s good to know that the strands of the paillomavirus that cause these warts don’t produce cancer.
There are various methods available to treat these warts:
- Topical administration of Podofilina: users can apply this cream directly onto the warts. It works by inducing cellular necrosis (cell death) in the warts. By doing so, it eliminates them.
- Topical treatment with Imiquimod: as our immune system is capable of combating the virus, this drug stimulates it in order to attack infected cells more effectively.
- Trichloroacetic acid: this drug must be administered by a medical professional.
- Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen: this therapy aims to freeze, thus eliminate viral cells.
- Electrocoagulation: this method removes cells by using an electric current.
Visit this article: Remove Warts without Scarring
Premalignant lesion treatments
It could take decades for a cancer to develop enough to be diagnosed. However, that doesn’t mean you’re going to get cancer because you had an infection. For example, if a woman with a premalignant lesion receives early and appropriate treatment, she can have a very high chance of being cured.
Treatment for HPV, in the case of premalignant lesions, is based on different techniques:
- Cryotherapy. By means of cryotherapy, tissue is destroyed by freezing. It’s highly efficient and only sees cases treating small lesions.
- Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP). LEEP aims to eliminate the affected area by using a heated loop as a scalpel. This procedure requires local anesthesia.
- Cone biopsy. When cryotherapy and LEEP fail, or if there is a possibility of cancer, doctors turn to cone biopsies. The procedure consists in extracting a cone-shaped tissue sample from the cervix with the use of a scalpel.
Having HPV doesn’t automatically mean that you have cancer.
Malignant HPV lesion treatments
When HPV leads to cancer, treatment depends as much on locating the lesion as it does on the growth of the tumor. Once the tumor is detected, treatment can include the traditional methods used to combat almost all types of cancer.
Among these treatments are the following:
- Tumor-removal surgery.
Researchers are investigating the possibility of using micro-immunotherapy for treating human papillomavirus. It’s objective would be to use the immune system’s regulators to enhance the patient’s immune system. However, this treatment is still being developed.
Also read: How Can Women Protect Themselves from STDs?
How can you prevent HPV infections?
Fortunately, there are currently two types of vaccines available to treat human papillomavirus. They both are highly safe and efficient:
- Gardasil: effective against strands 6,11,16 and 18.
- Cervarix: effective against strands 16 and 18.
In order to prevent HPV, the best thing to do is for all individuals to get vaccinated before having sexual relations for the first time. Women are advised to get vaccinated between the ages of 9 and 26.
As one of the main means of prevention, every individual should know how to use a condom when having sexual relations in addition to using oral barriers during oral sex. Likewise, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE should condoms or barriers be reused.
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