Tag Archives: Immune System

Warts – Causes And Prevention

Warts are an ongoing problem for many people of all ages. They can go beyond being just a minor annoyance, sometimes resulting in much more serious health implications. Warts can be spread to other people, causing them to become infected with the virus. And some types of warts can be deadly. Taking all of these factors into consideration, it is a good idea to know what causes warts and methods you can take to minimize your risk of getting them. If you have already acquired warts, it is equally important if not more so, to lessen the chance of transmitting them to other people. The best precaution you can take is to be armed with the facts.

Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. So far, more than eighty different kinds of this virus have been identified. The various forms affect various parts of the body. The incubation period between when a person becomes infected and when an outbreak occurs also varies. The warts are easily transmittable from one person to another, and can also be transmitted from one part of the body to another area. Factors which determine a person’s likelihood of becoming infected include the state of the person’s immune system, the degree of virus that is present in the warts, the location of the warts, and the degree of contact.

Although it is often difficult or even impossible to prevent infection, there are some measures you can take to lessen this risk. If you already have one or more warts, it is important to prevent them from spreading. You should try to avoid touching the wart, for it can lead to the virus being spread to other areas you may touch afterward. You should avoid using other people’s towels and washcloths if they have not been cleaned. You should avoid wearing other people’s shoes. In locations where the virus might be present, you should make a point of wearing shoes to prevent indirect contact with infected surfaces. These factors will greatly reduce your risk of acquiring the virus associated with all forms of warts.

In addition, there are special factors associated with genital warts, which are the most serious and potentially deadly. These warts, which are a prime factor in cervical cancer, are spread by sexual contact. The risk of these warts and the cancer which results from them is highest in people who have multiple sexual partners. Although it is not as widely known as it should be, while having multiple partners increases the risk of coming in contact with a person who already has this infection, it has also been shown that having multiple partners alters one’s own natural levels of bacteria and will make you more susceptible to the virus. Not having multiple sexual partners is the most sound way to lessen your risk of acquiring genital warts. Those who already have them can also spread them by touch or by sharing infected washcloths and towels.

Currently, there are issues about a vaccine called Gardasil. This vaccine is proported to protect against four of the strains of Human Papilloma Virus which account for ninety percent of genital warts. Although this vaccine is not far beyond the testing stage, making the risk factors of the vaccine itself debatable, some locations are recommending it for young children. Some states are attempting to mandate this vaccine for little girls. In addition to the fact that the risk factors of the vaccine have not yet been adequately tested, the main issue being debated is whether giving elementary-school-aged children a vaccine to prevent a sexually-transmitted disease will lead many children and adolescents to believe it is okay to become sexually active and engage in a promiscuous lifestyle.

Warts And The Immune System

It makes sense that some of the risk factors for acquiring warts can be easily controlled. Simply avoiding contact with those who are already infected with warts is the most logical step to aid in not contracting warts. Not using personal items which belong to infected individuals, and taking precautions while in public areas that may contain the infection are also helpful safeguards. But while those who do not have an adequate immune system are much more likely to develop warts, this is a factor which can be aided in many cases.

Although persons who have medical conditions which negatively affect the immune system do not have much recourse, the majority of healthy people do have the ability to take steps to keep their immune systems at peak state. If one’s immune system is safeguarded, this one factor alone will go a long way in preventing warts. It is unlikely that many people consider their immune system as something over which they have control, but basic good health practices are the strongest influencing factors. Stick to a healthy lifestyle, and you will be much less likely to develop warts.

You may not initially realize the correlation between your diet and warts. You may also not consider your sleep patterns to be a factor. Both are related, because both play an important role in keeping your immune system strong and healthy. If you do not have a proper diet, this will compromise your immune system. In addition, studies have shown that specific dietary deficiencies, such as the lack of adequate potassium, greatly increase a person’s risk of warts.

It is much better to adhere to a healthy diet than to be in the position of having to deal with warts after they occur. It is important to keep in mind that one’s dietary practices have a dual role first, in keeping the immune system strong in general, and also to not end up with the potassium deficiencies that increase your risk of warts.

A proper amount of sleep on a regular basis is also very important in preventing warts. Frequent lack of sleep also undermines the immune system. A weak immune system will open you up to a wide range of potential health problems, and the various types of warts is one of the most immediate and visible.

If you add together the factors of diet and sleep, you will have the two main factors which determine the state of your immune system. For a person who is otherwise healthy, free of any serious medical complications, both of these factors should be easily within your control. To exercise good judgment with nutrition and rest will be one of the most significant factors in preventing warts.

If you do not have a proper diet, or do not get enough sleep on a regular basis, you can lessen your risk of acquiring warts by addressing these problems. To make some positive changes in your lifestyle to reflect more healthy patterns will benefit you in many ways, both currently and in the long-run. Making you less likely to develop warts is just one of the benefits.

Professional Treatments for Warts

Warts cause embarrassment and discomfort. Home remedies and over-the-counter preparations work for some people. However, there are times when it becomes advantageous to call in a professional to treat your warts.

Retinoid cream is prescribed by doctors as an experimental treatment to get rid of warts. It is composed of a substance that comes from Vitamin A, called tretinoin. It has been shown, in research studies, to work well. Eighty-five percent of children who used it had positive results.

Retinoid cream shouldn’t be used on pregnant women’s warts because it’s been associated with birth defects. It can also cause changes in the skin of those who do use it. Skin can become dry, sensitive, swollen, crusted, or blistered. It can become red or have other color changes. If you use it, your skin can become sensitive to the sun.

Rather than slow down skin cell growth, which is what retinoid cream does, contact sensitizers work with the immune system instead. The first thing the doctor will do is to apply a contact synthesizer to your arm or back. This will start a reaction in your immune system.

The next time the contact sensitizer is applied, an allergic reaction will ensue. After that, the substance will be put directly on the warts and it will destroy it by summoning your immune system. Eighty percent of people in one study were helped with this treatment.

A doctor might put Cantharidin on your warts and keep it there with a bandage. After awhile, the wart will have a blister around it. Then, the doctor can lift the warts off and remove it.

Warts can also be frozen off. This is called cryotherapy. There is actually at least one over-the-counter kit for this. If a doctor does it, he will apply liquid nitrogen to the wart. After a blister has formed, you have to wait for about a week. At this time, the wart will fall off.

Cryosurgery uses basically the same ingredients, but the deep freezing gets rid of the warts sooner. Or, the base of the warts can be destroyed by applying an electric needle to it. These are miner surgeries.

Laser surgery can be done to remove warts. It is usually reserved for special cases. A pregnant woman may have no other way to have warts removed. A person may have a great number of warts and they may be very large.

The laser is basically just a beam of light that is highly focused. It can burn off warts and leave surrounding tissue unharmed if done right. It may be done with local anesthesia. Or, if the warts cover a large area general anesthesia is called for.

Once the warts have been removed, there will be a wound. This will be painful for a few days, but it should feel better after that. If you have undergone this treatment, you should watch out for excessive pain that persists. Tell your doctor if you notice pus or run a fever. This method has been shown to be successful on warts sixty-six percent of the time.

Professional Treatments for Genital Warts

The best way to treat genital warts, caused by the human papilomavirus, is to seek help from a physician. A doctor can evaluate what kind of treatment needs to be done to your genital warts, or if any needs to be done at all. A professional can also make sure that you don’t have a more serious condition.

Doctors will often adopt a wait and see attitude at first. This is because genital warts often go away spontaneously. Depending on the extent of the problem, the waiting period may be short or longer. Once it is past, if the genital warts are still there, treatment will begin.

There are several creams that are used for genital warts. A doctor may prescribe Podofilox for use at home. The doctor will explain how to use the cream. Another cream that might be prescribed is Aldara. This medication aids the immune system in fighting off the virus. It has a very high success rate with low recurrence.

Fluorouracil is a medication in a cream. This medication prevents HPV and this stops warts from multiplying. It can also get rid of existing warts. The doctor can tell you how to use it. You will need to protect the healthy skin with petroleum jelly.

Fluorouracil is very good for treating all the sensitive areas of the genitals. However, pregnant women can’t use this treatment. Also, people often have to stop treatment after having a severe reaction to the cream.

Podophyllum resin can only be applied by a doctor. The doctor oversees treatment once a week for at least six weeks. A different version of the same substance, podofilox lotion, can be used by the patient at home with a few instructions from the doctor.

Health care professionals are also responsible for the application of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or bichloroacetic acid (BCA). This medication works by destroying proteins in cells. Thus, it is important to only treat the genital warts and not the surrounding tissue.

Interferon is a product that has been used to treat immunity problems of all kinds. It attacks HPV and boosts the immune system. The methods of delivery are cream, lotion, or injection at the base of the genital warts. It has some side effects, especially for pregnant women.

Surgery may be required for some genital warts. Simple excision, or cutting off, of warts is done in some cases. It is especially effective on genital warts of the vagina, the penis, and around the anus. The area should be healed in three weeks at most, if all goes well.

Sometimes doctors use an electric probe to burn off genital warts. This is called electrocautery and is most useful for genital warts around the anus, on the penis and on the vulva. Local or general anesthesia is used, depending on the severity of the problem. The healing should be finished in a month or less.

Laser surgery can also be effective when all else fails, or if the patient is pregnant and needs warts removed. The genital warts are burned off with the laser. They heal within a month.