Anal warts is a condition where small warts occur in or around the rectum. Anal warts are highly contagious and transmission most often results from direct contact, usually in nature, with an infected individual. It can take from one to six months from time of exposure to the initial outbreak, however the time span has been known to take years. They first appear as tiny blemishes, perhaps as small as the head of a pin, and may grow larger than the size of a pea. Anal warts, also known as condyloma acuminata, are small warts that can occur in the rectum. Anal warts may affect the skin of the genital area. They are thought to be caused by the human papilloma virus which is relatively contagious. The virus can be transmitted from person to person, almost always by direct contact. Usually, anal warts do not cause pain or discomfort. Sometimes, patients may be unaware that the warts are present. Warts inside the anal canal usually are not suitable for treatment by medications, and in most cases need to be treated by cauterization or surgical removal.
In some cases, the warts will reappear. They may reappear because the viruses that cause the warts are still present in the body. Anal symptoms such as bleeding can be due to other conditions. The most dangerous of these is cancer of the rectum or colon. The possibility of this may need investigation. The virus can easily be passed from one person to another. When Anal warts symptoms become apparent, it is extremely important to find a treatment immediately. They are usually transmitted from person to person by direct skin contact. It can affect both men and women. If warts are very small and are located only on the skin around the anus, they can be treated with medications, which are applied directly to the surface of the warts. Another form of treatment involves more rapid destruction of the warts using electrical cautery, surgical removal or a combination of the two.
Causes of Anal warts
Anal warts are caused by the human papilloma virus. It is relatively contagious. The virus can be transmitted from person to person, almost always by direct contact. Risk factors include smoking, using oral contraceptives, having multiple partners, and an early coital age. In addition, individuals who have a history of immunosuppression are also at risk.
Common causes and risk factors of Anal warts:
- Using oral contraceptives
- Human papilloma virus.
- Having multiple partners.
- Inanimate objects.
Signs and Symptoms of Anal warts
Many patients believe they have haemorrhoids. Eventually the wart virus can cause cancers in the anal or genital area. Wart symptoms are easily identified, and therefore everyone should know what anal warts look like. They appear as bumps which can be whitish or skin colored. They are not usually painful unless there are allot of them, which can make bowel movements quite difficult. They can also become very itchy. Genital warts have been linked to cancer and therefore you should treat them immediately.
Sign and symptoms may include the following :
- Minor itching or moisture in the anal area.
- Small growths in the anal area.
- Minor bleeding.
- They can also become very itchy.
Treatment for Anal warts
Treatments are intended to remove the warts so as to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus to others, as well as to eliminate any physical or psychological discomfort associated with anal warts. If warts are very small and are located only on the skin around the anus, they can be treated with medications, which are applied directly to the surface of the warts. Another form of treatment involves more rapid destruction of the warts using electrical cautery, surgical removal or a combination of the two. Laser surgery may also be used but has no advantage over other treatments. The patient can go home immediately afterwards. Overnight hospitalisation is not required.
Treatment may include:
- Anal warts can be treated, depending on the factors such as location, number, and size of the warts.
- When the warts are more extensive, a general anaesthetic or alternatively deep sedation given by an injection followed by a local anaesthetic into the anal area to make the treatment free from pain.
- If they are very small and are located only on the skin around the anus, they can be treated with medications, which are generally applied directly to the surface of the warts.
- Laser surgery may also be a good option but generally not prescribed.