HPV: human papilloma virus, what it is and how to treat it

The most common infection that affects almost 90% of people on earth is called HPV or human papilloma virus. After the discovery of papillomas, no one rings the alarm, because people are considered to be ordinary warts. Get rid of them only if they interfere or carry a cosmetic defect. The disease is "human" and is transmitted only from the patient to the healthy: in everyday life, by touch, through the reproductive system, during childbirth from mother to baby. The disease can manifest itself on the skin or mucous membranes in the form of warts, papillomas or condyloma. Let's understand what HPV is and how dangerous it is for people?

papilloma of the skin

What is HPV?

The virus lives in almost every person. HPV germs are so small that they can enter the bloodstream through scratches, scuffs and small cuts on the skin. It may not be shown in any way during the life of the bearer, or it may be constantly shown in all its glory. The incubation period can last from a few weeks to several years. The signal for action is the weakening of the immune system. If papillomas appear on the skin and mucous membranes, then the body needs urgent treatment.

There are more than 70 types of human papillomavirus, but several new strains are registered each year. Usually, all types of HPV infection can be divided into two groups.

Warts are viruses that cause warts to develop in the body.

  • HPV types 1, 2, 3, 4 cause the formation of plantar warts or corns;
  • HPV types 3, 10, 28, 49 are responsible for the appearance of flat warts;
  • HPV type 27 forms "butcher's nipples";
  • HPV: 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19-24, 26, 27, 29, 57 - also develop warts.

Papilloma - viruses that cause the formation of papillomas and warts.

  • HPV 6. 11, 13, 16, 18, 31, 33, 31, 33, 58, 52, 39, 70, 30, 40, 42, 43, 51, 55, 57, 59, 61, 662, -64,

What is the danger of HPV?

Why have doctors been sounding the alarm in recent years trying to educate the public about HPV? Because the percentage of cancer patients diagnosed with this virus is seriously growing. Not only women suffer from uterine cancer, but also men with male genital oncology. The number of skin cancers among the elderly is also on the rise.

Of course, there are types of HPV that do not affect a person's internal health, but their manifestations in the form of ingrown papillomas and warts are unpleasant. They are classified as low oncogenicity - minimal risk of developing cancer. Such formations are easily removed by folk methods or aesthetic medicine. But the virus itself is not treated with any means and drugs. If a person becomes infected, then he is a carrier of the virus for the rest of his life.

Other subtypes of papilloma virus infection belong to the group with high oncogenicity, ie they can affect the formation of malignant neoplasms in the body.

There are 3 types of its oncogenicity:

  • HPV with low risk of cancer: 6, 11, 40, 42, 43, 44, 54, 61, 70;
  • HPV of medium oncological risk: 26, 31, 33, 35, 51, 52, 53, 58, 66;
  • High risk HPV: 16, 18, 36, 39, 45, 56, 59, 66, 68.

Diseases and types of HPV

Below is a list of types of papilloma virus.

Skin lesions:

  • Warts on the sole (corns around) 1, 2, 4
  • Ordinary nipples 2, 4, 26, 27, 29, 57
  • Straight nipples 3, 10, 28, 49
  • Nipple butcher 7
  • Veruciform epidermodysplasia 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20-25, 36, 37, 46, 47, 50

Genital mucosal lesions:

  • Genital warts 6, 11, 42-44, 54
  • Epithelial lesions without invasion of other layers (intraepithelial lesions) may be precancerous 62, 64, 67-70
  • Cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus and penis 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 54, 56, 66, 68

Lesions of non-genital mucosa:

  • Lesions of the oral mucosa (focal epithelial hyperplasia) 13, 32
  • Recurrent airway papillomatosis 6, 11, 30
  • Malignant tumors of the head, neck, lungs 2, 6, 11, 16, 18, 30

Types of viral skin lesions

Most types of human papillomavirus infection are asymptomatic. The external manifestations of the disease are different, here are a few types:

ordinary warts

ordinary warts

The most common form of HPV is warts. Almost every person can find on his body a similar papule with a diameter of no more than 5-7 mm. Usually the warts are located on the outside of the palm, between the toes, on the soles of the feet, on the chin, eyelids and scalp. Warts can grow and form colonies from the mother's papule. Then they can cause discomfort: itching and tingling in places of growth.

The most "sick" are plantar warts, their common name is "thorns". When walking, they put pressure on the nerve endings, which causes severe pain. Such growths are recommended for surgical removal in clinics. Ordinary warts do not pose a threat to human health, they almost never develop into oncological tumors.

Butcher's nipples

Butcher's nipples

Butcher's nipples look like several thick threads protruding from a single growth. They are most often found on the fingers, especially at the sites of cuts. Long filiform papules bring inconvenience to their owner, because these formations do not look aesthetically pleasing. They can bleed when hit or scratched. Although such warts are safe in the oncological sense, their damage will lead to problems. The doctor's recommendation is to remove it without error.

straight nipples

straight nipples

Straight warts are also called "adolescent warts" because they often appear during adolescence. They look like dry grouped large rashes on the skin. Cover forehead, cheeks, chin, forearms. The color can not be distinguished from the skin or be a little darker.

Butcher's nipples

butcher's nipples

Butcher's warts are warty growths with scars the color of normal skin. They can be individual and as clusters of several pieces. The name of these wart growths was given to the professional work of butchers. We can say that this type of infection is an occupational disease of the meat industry.

Verruciform epidermodysplasia

epidermodysplasia verruciformis in HPV

This disease can be confused with pityriasis versicolor, so you should consult a specialist. It is inherited, but is very rare in the form of dermatosis. From the outside it looks like a cluster of flat scaly rashes and age spots. The main sites of localization are the face, neck and arms. Unfortunately, this form of wart can develop into cancer.

Periungual warts

periungual warts

Warts located near the nail destroy the nail plate. They grow deep into the skin and deform the finger. They do not develop into malignant formations, but that does not make them less undesirable. Surgery is necessary both for aesthetic reasons and for the health of the fingers.

Bowen's disease

Bowen's disease with HPV

This form of HPV tends to degenerate into squamous cell carcinoma. When the skin is damaged, redness of 5 mm occurs, which grows and is covered with crusts. The upper layer of the epidermis is affected, the growth can be up to 5 cm in diameter. It is more common in the elderly, because the immune defense is reduced.

Genital warts

genital warts

This type of HPV is sexually transmitted, and therefore affects the genitals of men and women, as well as the mucous membranes of the urinary system and anus. The appearance of the formation is reminiscent of cauliflower or rooster comb. Genital warts can also appear in the corners of the lips due to oral sex. The growths must be removed, as friction can injure them and cause infection.

Papillomas in the oropharynx

clear throat and papilloma of the pharynx

HPV infection in the mouth is also similar to cauliflower. White plaques can descend into the lungs and trachea, making it difficult for a person to breathe. You can damage the papillomas while eating, which in turn can lead to cancer. As a malignant tumor cannot be distinguished from a benign one, it is necessary to perform tests before removing the plaques.

Flowering papillomatosis can be not only in the elderly. The disease occurs in children and adults. The main signs of laryngeal papillomatosis are dysphonia (speech disorder) and aphonia (inability to speak), hoarseness and difficulty breathing.

Methods of treatment

There are no methods to deal with papilloma virus infection today. Therefore, treatment comes down to removing external formations and suppressing the virus in the patient's body. There are cases when some types of viruses have been dying in the body for several years. Which methods and preparations to use in the treatment is determined by the doctor only on the basis of the diagnosis, tests and external examination of the patient.

Destructive methods:

  • surgical excision (excision) of the nipple / papilloma (used only if a malignant lesion is suspected);
  • electrocoagulation - cauterization of the formation by a coagulator through which an electric current passes;
  • cryodestruction - destruction of the nipple with liquid nitrogen;
  • laser treatment - the impact on the formation of the laser beam;
  • radiowave method - exposure of the wart / papilloma using a Surgitron device.

Chemical treatments:

  • cauterization with salicylic acid;
  • processing of trichloroacetic acid formation 50-90% concentration;
  • acid mixture - treatment with a preparation for education (efficiency is very low).

Drugs with antiviral and immunomodulatory effects must be included in the therapy to activate the immune system and suppress HPV.

Disease prevention

It is quite difficult to avoid contracting the HPV virus, because it can be contracted in the bathroom, swimming pool, using the usual household items, in the hospital. But these strains are mild and do not cause cancer. Prevention is usually reduced to personal hygiene, quick treatment of cuts and injuries with antibacterial agents, and the use of protective equipment during work.

Special attention should be paid to the prevention of sexually transmitted viruses. It is unlikely that he will protect his body with condoms. A viral infection in a partner can be found near the genitals and in the mouth. The best way to avoid infection is pre-vaccination. Girls and boys should be vaccinated before the onset of sexual activity between the ages of 11 and 13. Immunity lasts from 3-5 to 10 years and depends on the vaccine and the type of virus. Vaccination can then be repeated if there is a risk of infection (change of sexual partners).

High oncogenic risk HPV can indeed cause tissue changes and lead to an oncological process. But it takes several years from the first signs to the development of cancer. That is why it is very important to have annual medical examinations, especially for women. Regular gynecological examination reveals changes in both the external genitalia and the cervix. Take care of your health!