Tag Archives: Serious Health

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.

Types of Warts

Warts are benign tumors of the skin, caused by viruses in the human papaloma virus family. They may take weeks or months to grow before they can become visible, and are contagious. In many cases, warts can be treated through home remedies and over the counter medications. However, in some cases warts must be treated by a professional.

There are four main types of warts: common warts, flat warts (also known as juvenile warts), plantar warts (warts on the feet), and genital warts. The first three types of warts are treated similarly. Genital warts typically require professional medical treatment, and can cause serious health problems if not treated quickly.

Most types of warts are not typically threatening to the overall health of the patient. When warts are bothersome or embarrassing they can be treated at home through over the counter medications. However, recurrences may happen later. If the warts continue to be bothersome, professional medical treatments may be sought.

Common Warts

Common warts appear as thickened bumps, sometimes called papules. They can appear somewhat like a mole, but are rougher on the surface. Small black dots also may appear due to clotted blood vessels.

Common warts often appear on the hands, knees, and elbows. Like all warts they are contagious, and can be spread to others with low immunity to the human papaloma virus family. Warts can also be spread to other areas of the body through touching or shaving.

Flat Warts (Juvenile Warts)

Flat warts are similar to common warts in that they appear on the hands, knees, arms, and face. They are also contagious, and can be spread to other areas of the body or other people. Flat warts are also called juvenile warts because they are most commonly found in children and young adults.

Flat warts appear as small bumps, about the size of a pin head, with a smooth flat top. They can be the color of the skin or may appear yellow or brown. They are not very large, but can form in clusters of as many as one hundred warts in one small area of the body.

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts occur on the bottoms of the feet. They are especially common in people with diabetes. Plantar warts can be very painful if left untreated, especially if they appear in a weight bearing area of the foot.

Plantar warts can sometimes be mistaken as corns or rough spots on the feet. They are typically rough and spongy in texture. Plantar warts are usually yellow, gray, or brown, causing the confusion with corns or other rough spots on the feet.

Genital Warts

Genital warts are the most common sexually transmitted disease. They appear as the color of the skin in most cases. They can be found anywhere in the genital area. In women they can actually spread to the walls of the vagina and the cervix itself.

Unlike other types of warts, genital warts can cause serious health conditions if left untreated. Treatment for genital warts must come from a professional. This type of warts cannot be treated at home.

The human papaloma virus has been found to actually cause cancer of the cervix. This is due to the rapid cell growth induced by the virus. There are over sixty strands of the virus, but only about four of them have been found to cause cervical cancer. However, the threat is very real, and should be addressed with professional medical attention as soon as they are noticed.

Genital Warts: Men Need To Be Concerned Too

Only females can die from cervical cancer. Perhaps that is the reason why there has been so much recent emphasis and debate on producing and mandating a vaccine to prevent girls from acquiring the virus which causes the genital warts. Perhaps it is also the reason why most talk about irresponsible sexual activity is generally focused on girls and women. Where there is less focus, however, is that males can be equally responsible in preventing genital warts in themselves. Males can avoid contracting these warts, and can also avoid passing them on if they do become infected.

Given the status of American society today, it should not be surprising that for males as well as females the focus is not on conducing oneself in a responsible manner, but to take preventive measures while continuing risky behavior. Although males generally have much less chance of genital warts leading to life-threatening illnesses, studies show an average of an eighty-percent risk of acquiring genital warts during their lifetimes.

Studies rarely add that the primary risk factor is that of having numerous sexual partners. In that genital warts in men rarely lead to serious health conditions in themselves, the main concern is to not infect their partners with these warts.

One of the most recent studies on the subject of these warts has been by the Medical College of Georgia. The goal of these studies has been to perfect a vaccine made especially for men. The concept behind these studies was that even though men do not usually have life-threatening risks from warts, transmitting the infection to their partners is reason enough to take the issue seriously. Preventing males from acquiring any of the four strains of the virus which cause these warts would in turn prevent outbreaks of warts. This in turn would ensure the safety of their partners.

Although the Medical College of Georgia began its studies into the possibility of such a vaccine a number of years ago, at last check there have been no conclusive results. The College had been seeking test-subjects who had not yet developed genital warts. They were specifically looking for sexually-active males who were between the ages of sixteen and twenty-three, to participate in these research studies.

But while the Medical College of Georgia was also responsible for the largest similar research on this vaccine in women, the vaccine has not only been approved for but distributed to girls, while the vaccine for males has not been. As both males and females are susceptible to this virus, it would seem that preventing both from acquiring genital warts should be the same priority.

As those who have been conducting this research have lacked this priority, it leaves the subject of responsible conduct in the hands of men themselves.

Weight Gain And Cholesterol

It’s really not a secret that there is a connection between weight gain and cholesterol levels. If you are overweight one of the best things you can do for your body is lose your excess body weight.

Weight gain and cholesterol is a common problem for many people as they age. When we age we often have slower metabolisms and just don’t get as much exercise.

Those factors can lead to an increase in the amount of excess body fat you put on.

Of course, sometimes having trouble with your cholesterol levels is a result of hereditary factors, but more often than not it is a result of lifestyle choices.

If we eat too many foods that are bad for us: high in fat and calories and generally lacking in any nutritional value, for example, we will most likely gain weight as well as increase the levels of bad cholesterol.

According to the American Heart Association, you should try to keep your overall cholesterol levels below 199mg/dl. Your bad cholesterol levels, LDL, should be less than 99mg/dl.

The higher your LDL levels the more fat you have in your bloodstream. This fat can clog your arteries and lead to many serious health related issues such as heart attack and stroke.

Of course, you do have many ways you can help control your cholesterol levels and you don’t have to (in many cases, ultimately you need to ask your doctor) rely solely on medication.

Eating right is your first line of defense. For many people, just eating a healthier diet will be enough to prevent developing any cholesterol problems in the first place.

Lean protein, vegetables, more fruits and lots of water can go a long way to ensure that your cholesterol levels are kept where they should be.

You can start small too. Just stop eating so much of the bad stuff. If you really love your burgers why not just cut back on the amount you have in a week?

Or, why not try a leaner ground beef or possibly even a turkey burger. It’s up to you but you can see that there are many simple things you can do to eat better and not eating as much bad stuff.

Another simple fix is to eat less sugar. For many people this can be accomplished just by cutting way back on some of the beverages they drink.

I had a friend who lost 10 lbs. in one month and the only thing she did was stop drinking pop. Most beverages are loaded with sugar and some of the worst offenders are energy drinks.

Getting less sugar in your diet can be a simple way for you to loss excess body fat and lose weight.

Weight gain and cholesterol do go hand in hand but you can lose weight with some simple changes to your diet and exercise program. Don’t give up and make sure you talk to your doctor before you start, but you really can have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels.