HPV or human papillomavirus is a strain of viral infection that is usually passed through the skin to skin contact. There are many varieties of HPV although the main focus is one of the ones which are usually transmitted through sexual contact. Most sexually active people are infected by this disease although very few develop the full-fledged symptoms.
Symptoms of HPV
Primary symptoms of HPV are the growth of warts on your body in various stages or in various areas. Some of them are:
1. Typical common warts - The easiest way to spot an HPV infection is the development of common warts on any parts of the body. They could appear on elbows, hands, feet and fingers. These look like bumps on the skin and although they aren't usually are painful, itchy but unsightly.
2. Flat warts - Flat warts tend to be small smooth bumps which are slightly raised skin lesions on the body which can be a little darker in colour. Men usually get this in the beard and face area while women tend to get this on their legs.
3. Plantar warts - These warts usually grow on the heels or the balls of the feet and are hard grainy growths. These can be painful and even cause discomfort while walking.
4. Genital warts - This is one of the most obvious and most common symptoms of HPV, especially in the variety which is transmitted through sexual contact. These usually look like small bumps or protrusions on the skin and can be of different shapes. Women can have this on the vulva, vagina or even cervix and men can have this on the penis, scrotum, and adjacent areas. Both men and women can have this on their anus as well.
Causes of HPV
The primary cause of HPV infections is the intrusion of the virus in your skin through small cuts or abrasions on your skin. Skin to skin contact with an infected person will transfer this to you. However, genital warts are usually transferred from skin to during sexual contact. Even oral sex can transmit HPV and cause lesions in the upper respiratory tract and cause breathing problems as well. Most warts can also be transferred with the contact or touching the wart directly and thus should be avoided.