Minor skin lesions such as penis warts can be easily mistaken for incurable conditions such as herpes, and they can cause a great deal of emotional distress. Thankfully, there are some penis care tips men can follow to get rid of the warts, and there are other measures men can take to avoid getting these infections in the future.
A classic genital wart is small, rough and flesh colored. It's usually painless, and according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 90 percent of genital wart infections are cured by the immune system within two years. While it might be reassuring to learn that these little bumps will go away on their own, men might balk at the idea of living with something so unsightly for years on end.
A Common Infection
In general, skin warts are really nothing more than standard cell growth gone wild, and in the case of genital warts, this explosion of tissue is triggered by a common virus known as human papillomavirus, or HPV. Nearly everyone is exposed to HPV at least once in their lifetime, although in the vast majority of cases, the virus causes no outward effects. There are over 70 different types of HPV circling the world today, and each different strain causes slightly different symptoms.
Some HPV variants can cause cancer, but the cancerous types don't typically cause warts to form. Unfortunately, men who have one type of HPV aren't automatically disqualified from contracting another variant, so men who have warts might not be free of cancer fears.
Penis warts are relatively easy to see, and doctors can often diagnose the problem with a quick peek at the spots. There are several treatment paths men can follow if those warts are related to an HPV infection:
- Watching and waiting. Since genital warts aren't life threatening, men can choose to just track the growth of their warts and wait for their immune systems to beat back the infection.
- Medication management. Prescription creams applied directly to the warts can remove the raised tissue and improve appearance.
- Cryotherapy. In this treatment, liquid nitrogen is applied directly to the warts, freezing away the tissue.
- Electrocautery. An electric current is applied to the wart, and the patient typically receives an anesthetic to avoid pain.
Men who choose to treat their warts may experience a bit of pain or discomfort as their skin heals, and the warts may come back in the following weeks or months. Multiple treatments, or a different type of treatment, may be required to eliminate the warts completely.
Men who have warts should talk to their sexual partners about their health concerns, and they should avoid sexual activity while the lesions are present. Obtaining treatment for warts can help reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others, but the risk remains that the condition may be transferred to another person while treatment is ongoing.
While it may not always be possible to prevent exposure, the best way to avoid an HPV infection is to avoid contact with the private parts of other people. Anytime skin-to-skin contact takes place, the infection can jump from body to body. A condom might not prevent transmission, as the virus can exist on surfaces that remain uncovered. Abstinence isn't practical for all men, however, and there are some preventive steps men can take in order to stay safe. For example, men can talk with their doctors about HPV immunizations. A vaccine could help men avoid most forms of HPV, including the types that are associated with both warts and cancer.
Performing proper penis care might also be helpful. Men who take the time each day to closely inspect their skin and look for changes are more likely to spot problems early, when they can be treated most easily, and healthy skin might be more resistant to infections of all types. Cleaning the penis each day with a mild soap and water can help to remove dirt and bacteria, and following that cleansing with a penis health crème (most experts recommend Man 1 Man Oil) may provide vital nutrients to boost the body’s immune response, as well as keeping the skin soft, supple, and resilient.
For additional information on most common penis health issues, tips on improving penis sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy penis, visit: http://www.penishealth101.com. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.