What is HPV?
- HPV = Human Papillomavirus
- It is a viral infection that is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
- Given that it is transmitted this way, it should be noted that even though it is also sometimes considered to be an STD, the infection can also be transmitted without sexual intercourse.
- HPV is characterized by the development of warts (including genital warts).
Important Facts about HPV
- There are over 150 strains of HPV, out of which 40+ are transmitted via sexual contact and can affect the genitals, anus and oral cavity.
- It is possible for a person to have more that one strain of HPV
- HPV does not only refer to genital warts, but also common warts, plantar warts and flat warts.
- In about 90% of sexually transmitted cases, the condition resolves on its own and goes away. However, when it doesn’t, it can lead to issues with genital warts, warts in the throat, cervical cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, anal cancer and more.
- In some rare cases, it can even lead to penile cancer
- The presence of warts does not necessarily mean that one may develop cancer as the strains that cause warts are usually different from the strains that cause cancer.
- HPV is considered to be the most common STI/STD and viral infection of the reproductive tract.
- It is even common in people with few sexual partners.
How is HPV Transmitted
- It is transmitted by coming into physical skin-to-skin contact with an individual who has the infection
- Babies can get the infection during childbirth from an if their mother has the infection (although this is rare)
- This can lead to other conditions in the child such as recurrent respiratory papillomatosis – a condition in which warts develop along the child’s airways
- Due to the fact that it doesn’t always present with symptoms, a person may have the condition and spread it without knowing.
- Therefore, regular sexual health screening’s should be done, including pap-smears for women.
Symptoms of HPV
In many cases, HPV may be symptomless. Also, in most cases, the immune system fights of the virus and conditions resolves on its own.
Depending on the strain, one may develop any of the following types of warts:
- These are small fleshy, cauliflower-like bumps that can be flat or slightly protruding.
- In women, it typically develops on the vulva, cervix, inside the vaginal canal, or anus.
- In men, it can occur anywhere on the penis, scrotum (the pouch that contains the testicles), or anus.
- They are usually not painful, but can be itchy or tender.
- These warts have a similar appearance to genital warts but they occur on the hands and fingers.
- They can sometimes be painful and may bleed if there is any trauma to the area.
- These warts develop on the soles of the feet
- They can be very painful, especially when walking
- These warts typically present as hard, grainy, growths. They can sometimes look yellowish and may develop a crust.
- These warts are usually smooth, flat-topped, and very small.
- They can develop on the face (very common in children), hands, or legs.
- Multiple lesions tend to develop at a time
HPV & Cancer
Certain types of HPV can lead to cancers and therefore it is extremely important to get regular sexual health check-ups, pap tests, and even HPV DNA tests (available for women).
Depending on the strain, HPV can lead to the following cancers:
- Cervical cancer
- Oropharyngeal cancer
- Anal cancer
- Penile cancer
Remedies for HPV (Evidence-Based)
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays a role in various aspects of human physiology. Its responsible for regulating certain aspects of metabolism, blood pressure, wound healing, immunological function, cellular growth, and our sense of smell and taste. Supplementation with Zinc has been found to be highly useful in a long list of health condition.
When it comes to HPV, Zinc was found to be highly effective in achieving the complete clearance of warts in multiple clinical trials (see study).
Reishi & Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Reishi and Turkey Tail mushrooms have gained a lot of attention for their various health benefits, especially when it comes to boosting immunity and fighting cancer.
When it comes to HPV, in a clinical trial, supplementation with the combination of these mushrooms resulted in a 88% clearance of oral HPV in patients (see study).
Myrtle Essential Oil
Myrtle comes from the same family as Eucalyptus and is considered to be an milder alternative to Tea Tree oil as it is less harsh. It appears to have antiseptic properties and has been used traditionally for treating infection of the lungs, urinary tract and digestive system as well as acne, oily skin and other skin condition.
When it comes to HPV, in a clinical trial, Myrtle Essential Oil was able to speed up clearance of the virus when used as a herbal vaginal suppository (see study).
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(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.
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