Anal Warts, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

28.07.2017
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Warts on or inside your anus can first appear as small spots to later grow into shapes that are larger.

Warts on or inside your anus can first appear as small spots to later grow into shapes that are larger. In the beginning, you might not even be aware that they have appeared, although, as time goes by and they get bigger, it can spread into other areas surrounding your anus.

 

It’s an HPV infection which can appear in areas, such as the opening of your anal, within the rectum and anus, as well as around your buttocks, anus and also surrounding areas. Usually, it’s also known as anogenital or perianal warts, and condyloma acuminate.

 

Generally, you shouldn’t leave them untreated as these areas that are affected may increase your risk to develop cancer. Nonetheless, it will purely depend on your symptoms.

 

When warts develop on your buttocks or outside of your anus, it’s possible to use topical creams without consulting your doctor. On the other hand, if they develop inside your rectum commonly known as internal warts, it’s important to consult your doctor for treatment.

 

Some symptoms

 

Sometimes you might experience the following symptoms:

Feeling a mass or lump in the area of your anus

A discharge of mucus

Some bleeding

It can also be very itchy

 

Risk factors and causes

 

Most of the time, it’s caused by the HPV/human papilloma virus, which is a transmitted sexual disease that spreads between people through contact.

Some risk factors can include:

 

Immunosuppression

Participating in anal sexual intercourse or started at a very early age being sexually active.

By having more than one sexual partner

If you use oral contraceptives

Smoking

 

Who can be at risk to develop anal warts?

 

Your risk might be much higher to contract or spread anal warts due to the following:

When your immune system is compromised through medication or illnesses.

In the case of sexual intercourse at a young age.

By being intimate or having sex with someone that is infected.

If you partake in anal sexual intercourse.

Having unprotected intercourse with multiple partners.

It’s possible to attract HPV by only being with 1 partner as condoms can’t always protect you completely against the virus. This is seen quite commonly, specifically among youngsters who contract HPV.

 

Different treatments for anal warts

 

Choosing a treatment will depend on a warts location and how many you have, as well as the experience of your doctor and what you might prefer.

 

Topical medication

 

Treatments by topical medication can be sufficient when warts are limited in the anus’ outer areas, and if they are small. Therefore, medication on prescription should be used for these warts.

 

Over-the-counter medications to remove warts are not recommended to be used for genital or the anal area.

 

Some of the topical creams may include:

 

BCA/bichloroacetic acid

TCA/trichloroacetic acids

Podocon/podophyllin

Condylox/podofilox

Zyclara or Aldara imiquimod

 

Surgical options

 

This treatment will be much more effective in the case of internal warts, or if the warts are larger and don’t have any response to topical treatments. It’s usually been performed as an outpatient treatment and you may go straight home after the surgery on the same day.

 

Surgeons typically use special tools for removing your warts, and local anesthesia generally is used. Spinal or general anesthesia might be needed when the location and the number of these warts are extensive.

 

Other options for treatments

 

Availability of some treatments mainly depends on how severe these warts are and where it’s located.

Treatment can include any of these.

Laser treatments – This procedure technique usually is limited to cases that are difficult. It uses energy that gets transmitted through an intense light.

Electrocautery – The surgeon will use some electric currents in order to burn warts off.

Cryotherapy – In this case, liquid nitrogen can be used for freezing warts, after which it will fall off.

 

Most of the time after a surgical procedure to remove warts, you may feel uncomfortable for a couple of days. Medication for pain can be prescribed to resume your daily activities or go back to work, yet, it will depend on your treatment’s extent.

 

Prevention of anal warts

 

It’s possible for anal warts to reappear after a treatment that was successful. The doctor can recommend that you undergo re-evaluation for regular periods after your treatment. This is to check for warts that might recur.

 

The risk of getting infected may be reduced through limiting your sex partners, to abstain from sexual contact, or by using condoms. Though, remember that condoms can’t completely protect you from the virus, plus, it’s also possible to develop it with having only one partner.

Article last time updated on 28.07.2017.

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