Genital warts are by far the most common type of sexually transmitted disease, affecting men and women alike. This widespread disease is caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV – an infectious agent that can be found in every part of the world. While penis warts are not harmful in and of themselves, they can be easily transmitted to a sexual partner, and they can increase the risk for certain types of cancer. Because of this, it is important that men take care to avoid contact with the disease, and to take steps to prevent transferring it to a partner. The right approach to penis care and protection can help minimize the risk.
What is HPV?
Human papillomavirus refers to numerous strains of a common virus that can be found everywhere. Nearly every person will come in contact with some form of the virus at least once in their lifetime; however, not everyone will develop symptoms. HPV is responsible for warts on other parts of the body, as well; only some forms of the virus cause genital lesions.
Because it is so widespread and so easily transmittable, the only way an individual can guarantee they will not contract the virus is to abstain from all sexual activity. However, using a condom can provide substantial protection. Taking steps to prevent the disease is important, because HPV has been associated with an increased risk for cervical and penile cancers.
What are the symptoms?
The typical signs of HPV include penis warts (or, in women, vaginal warts) that are flesh-colored or whitish-gray in appearance. They may have a domed head, and they may develop a rough, cauliflower-like surface. The warts may appear singly or in clusters, and they may be accompanied by itching and mild soreness in the surrounding area.
It is very important to remember that not all people who are carrying the virus will develop symptoms, but anyone who has been exposed can transmit the disease to another person, whether they have warts or not.
Are penis warts always HPV?
Generally, warts on the penis are a sure sign of HPV. However, any unusual lesions should be checked by a trained medical professional, because other diseases can cause sores that are easily mistaken for warts – treating these sores appropriately depends on their source. A doctor can diagnose HPV by taking a skin biopsy – a small sample of tissue from the affected area.
How is HPV treated?
There is no cure for HPV, but in many cases, the warts will clear up with no interference at all. It is possible to remove the warts themselves. This should be done by a doctor, and the wart care products that are available at most pharmacies are not intended for use on the penis. Removing the warts does not eliminate the virus, and there is always a chance that they will grow back.
Extra TLC for the Penis
A man can never be too careful when it comes to protecting the penis, both from diseases and also from the ravages of daily life. While there is no substitute for using the proper protection during sex and making sure to keep up with yearly physical exams, a little TLC added to the daily penis care routine can help to make sure the manhood is as healthy as possible.
A daily washing is essential to remove built-up grime, sweat and body fluids that can irritate the skin and pave the way for infection. Once the area is clean, applying a penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) that is enriched with vitamins, antioxidants and natural emollients can help keep the skin well-moisturized and nourished. Doing so can prevent dry, cracked skin and make it more difficult for harmful microbes to penetrate. While a penis cream is not a substitute for a prescription medication, and it cannot prevent disease, it can go a long way toward boosting the skin’s natural defenses, as well as keep it looking smooth and supple.