The genital warts are soft masses that appear on the skin and mucous membranes of the penis, vulva, cervix, vagina, urethra, and into or around the anus of the man or woman. These skin lesions are highly contagious and are transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact, usually during sexual intercourse: vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Warts do not usually appear immediately after infection; they typically appear three weeks after intercourse.
Warts in the anus can appear as flat or raised flesh-colored lesions or as a kind of cauliflower-shaped tumor. This condition can cause itching, increased vaginal discharge, wetness in the genital area, and bleeding after sex. We invite you to continue reading this article by FastlyHealto to learn more about warts in the anus: causes and treatment.
Why do warts appear in the anus – causes
Warts in the anus, better known as condylomata acuminate, are skin lesions caused by infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 70 types of HPV: some do not cause warts, others cause warts in other parts of the body, such as the mouth and tongue, and others cause genital warts. Some types of human papillomavirus are considered high risk and can be regarded as harmful to health; for example, some strains that cause warts in the anus can lead to anal cancer.
A person is more likely to get anal warts if they have multiple sexual partners, are sexually active from an early age, consume tobacco or alcoholic beverages, have a viral infection or herpes, suffer from stress, and have a weakened immune system due to another condition such as The HIV. Anal sex is the main route of transmission for the types of HPV that cause warts in the anus.
Transmission of HPV that causes warts in the anus
- The contagion occurs from one person to another through anal sexual contact.
- A person infected with HPV who does not have genital warts can still transmit the disease. Therefore, the absence of warts does not reduce the risk.
- After HPV infection, warts can appear between six weeks and six months later. However, some people observe the first lesions years after illness, and there are those who, despite being infected, never experience warts in the anus.
- A person infected by another with genital warts will not necessarily develop such warts.
- Some people have been in direct contact with the virus, and their immune system has eliminated it from the body.
Symptoms of warts in the anus
The main symptom of HPV in the anus is the presence of these warts around the anus or on its margins. This type of warts can appear in the following ways:
- Flat or elevated.
- Pink (skin-like) or grayish color.
- Soft to the touch.
- Larger or smaller.
- A single wart or several condylomas grouped in the same area creates a cluster or cauliflower.
In addition to these skin lesions, affected individuals may experience the following symptoms:
- Intense itching in the affected area.
- Increased humidity in the anal region.
- Abnormal mucus discharge from the anus, especially after defecation.
- Light bleeding from the anus as the disease progresses.
What to do if I have warts on my anus?
Finding warts in the anus can be very distressing, mainly because of all the negative information about HPV and its relationship with different types of cancer. The first thing to do when finding these lesions is to remain calm and avoid thinking the worst; as we mentioned earlier, many strains exist of this virus, and not all of them represent a risk of cancer.
Therefore, when you find warts in the anus or on the external walls that surround it, you should make an appointment with your doctor for a complete physical examination to determine what these injuries are due to. If there is a case of human papilloma in women, it will be necessary to carry out tests to study the female reproductive system, such as cytology, which will allow knowing the state of the uterus, and a colposcopy, to detect genital warts that are not seen with the naked eye both in the uterus and in the anal canal.
Whenever you have warts in the anus, it is essential to perform a human papillomavirus DNA test to determine which strain the person has been infected with and thus know if they are at risk of developing anal cancer. Also, testing to rule out vaginal, anal, or vulvar cancer is significant whenever warts are found in the anus.
Treatment of warts in the anus: how to remove them
As in this case, genital warts are found in the anus; the condition must be treated by a proctologist specialist. When warts are apparent, it is necessary to treat them immediately because, in addition to being unsightly, they are highly contagious. There are many ways to treat warts in the anus; the most common are:
- Topical medications or injected by a medical specialist.
- A topical cream that the person must apply to the anus several times a week.
To remove warts in the anus, any of the following therapies are usually carried out:
It is widely used to remove unwanted tissues, cauterize, seal blood vessels, and heat any tissue through electricity. When some part of the body is going to be burned, a small probe with an electrical current is used that will be responsible for destroying the tissue. It is a safe procedure that does not suggest more significant risks. Warts on the anus are usually cauterized in the doctor’s office.
Cuts are made through a beam of intense light, and the tissues are cauterized or destroyed; in these cases, the ideal is to burn warts in the anus. This treatment does not pose any health risk, but it does cause pain, bleeding, and scarring. The recovery time is much faster than that of surgical intervention; in fact, most of the times that lasers are used to treat HPV are outpatient procedures.
It is essential that if a person has genital warts, they ask their sexual partners to examine themselves and carry out the appropriate treatment in case of infection. Also, if a person is infected with HPV but does not have warts on the anus or elsewhere, they should be treated in the same way to avoid complications.
Once warts have been removed from the anus, it is essential to revisit the doctor to verify that no skin lesions have remained and that all were properly cauterized. It is also important to check the anal canal at least twice a year to monitor any cellular abnormalities that may occur and be able to act in time. When there is a precancerous lesion, it is essential to monitor its progress every three months if it has been decided not to treat them immediately through surgery.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.