HPV WART REMOVAL IN SINGAPORE: MANAGING HPV INFECTIONS

In Singapore, HPV wart removal involves addressing cauliflower-like skin lesions caused by various strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) family, which infect the top layer of the skin.

HPV infections are more common than you may realize.

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While HPV infections, including warts, are often associated with sexual transmission and are a primary cause of genital warts globally, it’s important to recognize that non-sexual transmission is also prevalent. HPV can affect individuals of all ages and may manifest as warts in different areas of the body. Despite the common portrayal of HPV as solely a sexually transmitted disease, non-genital HPV warts are frequent occurrences. It’s noteworthy that the strains causing genital warts differ from those causing warts elsewhere on the body.

How does HPV spread?

HPV infections are primarily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, making it one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. Studies indicate that approximately one-third of global population carry the virus, with men who have sex with men at a notably higher risk.
Transmission risk increases when viruses come into contact with broken or damaged skin. Additionally, HPV can spread via contaminated items like towels or razors.

How are HPV warts diagnosed?

HPV warts may appear not only in the genital region but also on fingers, mouth, hands, feet, and other body parts. Typically, they present as small, grainy bumps with a rough texture, varying in appearance depending on the infected area. While most warts are benign and self-limiting, diagnosis is primarily based on visual examination, occasionally supplemented by skin scraping or biopsy.

Is treatment necessary?

While HPV warts may resolve on their own, untreated warts can persist for years, multiply, and potentially transmit the infection to others. Seeking medical attention for wart removal is advised to prevent such complications.

What are the treatment options?

Several over-the-counter treatments are available, but their effectiveness is limited, often leading to wart recurrence. Attempting to remove warts at home can result in bleeding, infection, scarring, and other complications. Thus, professional removal at a clinic is recommended.

Treatment Options for HPV Wart Removal

When it comes to addressing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) warts, several treatment options are available, each with its own advantages, considerations, and effectiveness.

Topical Treatments:

Antiviral Creams: These creams, such as Aldara, work by stimulating the body’s immune response to target and eliminate the virus causing the warts. They are typically applied directly to the affected area and may need to be used for several weeks to see results.

Podophyllin-Based Ointments: Podophyllin is a plant-based resin that is applied topically to the warts to destroy the wart tissue. However, it’s important to note that podophyllin is not recommended for use during pregnancy and may have varying effectiveness rates.

Considerations: While topical treatments can be convenient and non-invasive, they often require consistent and prolonged application. Additionally, they may cause side effects such as redness, irritation, or burning at the application site.

Radiofrequency ablation:

Procedure: Radiofrequency Ablation involves using high-frequency electrical currents to ablate and remove the warts. A small probe is applied directly to the wart, delivering controlled heat to destroy the tissue.

Advantages: Electrocautery is a quick and effective method for removing warts, with minimal risk of recurrence. The procedure is typically performed in a clinic setting under local anesthesia and has a relatively short recovery time. One would typically leave the clinic wart free after one session.

Considerations: While Radiofrequency Ablation is generally well-tolerated, some patients may experience mild discomfort or temporary redness at the treatment site. Additionally, there is a slight risk of scarring with this method.

Cryotherapy:

Procedure: Cryotherapy involves freezing the warts using liquid nitrogen, which destroys the wart tissue and underlying virus. The liquid nitrogen is applied directly to the wart using a special applicator.

Treatment Course: Multiple cryotherapy sessions may be required, depending on the size and severity of the warts. Following treatment, the warts typically blister and slough off over the course of several days to weeks.

Advantages: Cryotherapy is a well-established and effective treatment option for HPV warts, offering relatively rapid results and minimal discomfort during the procedure.

Considerations: Though it is generally well-tolerated, some patients may experience mild discomfort or temporary redness at the treatment site. Some patients may also require more than 1 session for the wart to drop off. Moreover, the recurrence rate tends to be higher with this method.

Surgical Excision:

Indication: Surgical excision may be recommended for larger or more stubborn warts that do not respond to other treatment modalities.

Procedure: During surgical excision, the wart is surgically removed using a scalpel or surgical scissors. The procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia to minimize discomfort.

Advantages: Surgical excision allows for the complete removal of the wart, reducing the risk of recurrence. It may be particularly beneficial for deep-seated or extensive warts.

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Choosing the Right Treatment:

The choice of treatment depends on various factors, including the size, location, and severity of the warts, as well as the patient’s preferences and medical history.
Consulting with a healthcare provider is essential to determine the most appropriate treatment plan tailored to individual needs and circumstances.

Post-Treatment Care: Following wart removal, it’s important to follow any post-treatment instructions provided by the healthcare provider.
Patients should avoid picking or scratching at the treated area to prevent infection and promote healing.
Regular follow-up appointments may be recommended to monitor progress and address any concerns.

Prevention of HPV warts:

HPV vaccines like Gardasil 4 and Gardasil 9 offer protection against various HPV strains, reducing the risk of wart formation, rectal cancer and cervical cancer. Consultation with a doctor can determine the suitability of these vaccines.

Speak to our doctors at Hisential Clinic to explore safe and effective preventive and treatment options available in Singapore.