A fairly large part of neoplasms on human skin is caused by the activity of the human papillomavirus (HPV). At the same time, papillomas are one of the most common of them. The virus not only causes the appearance of this neoplasm, but also gave it a name. But not all patients today know what papilloma is. If you are one of these people or just want to know more about this neoplasm, then this article is for you. In it we will talk about papillomas: what it is, what symptoms it has, for what reasons it is formed and how it is treated
Papillomas: what is it
Papillomas are small neoplasms that either have the same color as healthy skin or are slightly different from it. Neoplasms can appear both singly and in multiple rashes. Depending on the species, they can be flat, pedunculated, in the form of elongated papillae. These neoplasms can be located almost everywhere: genitals, face, neck, armpits, limbs, etc.
It is also worth noting that papillomas are benign neoplasms. That is, they do not belong to oncological tumors. However, doctors do not recommend leaving them as they are.
Usually papillomas do not hurt, but in some cases they can itch, peel off, cause slight tingling and / or redness. If the papilloma is located in the intimate area, it can cause discomfort when moving.
Types of papillomas
The five most common types of papillomas are:
- Simple. It looks like either a cockscomb or a cauliflower.
- Flat. Such a neoplasm is a flat nodule located on the surface of the skin. It can also form in the cervix.
- Filiform. Most often located on thin skin and are elongated nodules. Usually found in people over 50 years of age.
- Pointed. Or warts. Sexually transmitted, and therefore most often formed in the genital area. They may appear one at a time or several at once. In this case, they can merge into a large papilloma. They also differ in that they are formed not only on the surface of the genital organs, but can also grow inside the urethra or in the cervix.
Why papilloma appears
As we wrote above, the main reason for the appearance of papilloma is the activity of the human papillomavirus. It is worth noting that according to WHO, today about four out of five people (or even more) are infected with papillomavirus. This is due to several reasons:
- The virus is very durable. Once infected, it is almost impossible to get rid of it.
- The virus is easily transmitted. Sometimes even one use of a toilet seat or towel is enough to get infected. And unprotected sex has an almost one hundred percent chance of infection.
- The virus is congenital. Very often, the virus is transmitted from mother to newborn, so that many people are born with already acquired papillomavirus.
In general, although our immunity does not destroy the virus, it can suppress it well. That is why neoplasms do not appear in all infected people. But if the immune system weakens, then papilloma (or another neoplasm caused by HPV) may appear. There are other factors that may favor the formation of papilloma:
- Stress and emotional stress.
- Elderly age.
- Alcohol abuse, smoking.
- Excessive physical activity.
- Lack of vitamins in the body.
- some other diseases. For example, endocrine diseases.
- Taking certain drugs (oral contraceptives, immunosuppressants).
- Promiscuous sex life.
After the virus enters the body, external manifestations of papilloma do not immediately appear. What does it depend on? From the state of immunity and the duration of the incubation period (from a couple of weeks to several years). Therefore, with a good state of immune protection, the first manifestations may appear even after a year. In this case, a person can become infected with several strains of HPV at once (there are about 170 of them).
Of course, not everyone knows what papillomas are and how to treat them. And some even believe that it is not necessary to treat them, since these neoplasms are benign. Doctors have a different opinion on this matter: papillomas should be treated and it is desirable not to postpone treatment. So why should this benign neoplasm be treated? Firstly, papilloma can transform into a malignant neoplasm. Especially under the influence of certain factors. For example, due to intense ultraviolet radiation, injury, inflammation. Secondly, the neoplasm negatively affects the female reproductive function. If the woman is not cured and becomes pregnant, then the virus is most likely to be transmitted to the newborn. Thirdly, papilloma located in the throat or trachea can make breathing difficult or even cause suffocation. Fourth, as already mentioned, papillomavirus is quite easily transmitted, and therefore an untreated neoplasm can be very contagious. Fifthly, neoplasms can cause aesthetic discomfort.
Types of papilloma treatment
Immediately it should be noted that you can not resort to self-medication. Only a specialist with a medical education knows exactly how to diagnose papillomas, what it is and how it is treated. At the same time, it must be remembered that when removing any neoplasm, it is recommended to send the excised tissue for histological examination.
Speaking of treatment, today you can choose several ways to eliminate the neoplasm.
- Surgical removal. The operation is performed under local anesthesia. The neoplasm is removed with a scalpel along with adjacent healthy tissue. Because of this, the healing process can take a long time. In addition, there is a high probability of scarring at the site of excision. For these reasons, this procedure is currently performed quite rarely. Mainly in cases where other methods fail or when the neoplasm is too large.
- Cryodestruction. This is the name of the procedure for exposing tissues to ultra-low temperatures. Most often, the procedure is carried out using liquid nitrogen, which has a temperature of -196 ° C. As a result, the water in the cells at the site of exposure is frozen, and the neoplasms die off. The disadvantages include low efficiency (about 60%), since with insufficient freezing, the neoplasm will not receive enough damage. And with excessive - healthy tissue will be damaged.
- Electrocoagulation. This is the name of the procedure for cauterizing neoplasm tissues with electric current. Of the minuses, they call the soreness of the procedure and the likelihood of scarring of the skin at the site of exposure. But the efficiency is quite high: about 95%.
- Removal of neoplasm by laser. The essence of the procedure is the effect of a laser beam on the tissue. As a result, the neoplasm is evaporated layer by layer. Adjustable power allows you to remove papilloma with almost 100% efficiency. And high accuracy allows you to exclude damage to healthy tissues. Today, laser removal is considered by many experts to be one of the most effective ways to eliminate papilloma. After the procedure, there is practically no scarring, a long recovery period is not needed, and since an application anesthetic is applied before the session, the procedure is quite comfortable for the patient.
In the clinic, laser removal of papillomas is carried out using modern devices. Preparation for laser removal is not required. But you will need to make an appointment with a laser therapist. At the appointment, the doctor will tell you what papillomas are and how the session will take place. The patient will also be checked for contraindications.
The procedure itself takes place quite quickly: for single neoplasms, a few minutes are enough, for multiple ones - 15-20. After the procedure, the specialist will tell you about proper care. According to the general instructions, it is impossible to sunbathe, go to the bathhouse and sauna during the first two weeks. You will also need to take care of the treated area.
Do not forget about contraindications to the procedure. Laser removal of papillomas is not performed in the presence of any ailments, lesions of the central nervous system and the presence of bleeding.