Viral warts appear as tiny spots on the skin. They are quite commonly seen around the anus and in some people, occur
on the lining of the anus. They usually start as tiny spots like pinhead, but may grow to the size of a pea.
They may also occur in clusters or spread from one part of the skin around the anus to another area. In some, they affect the skin around the genitals.
They are caused by the human papilloma virus. It is relatively contagious. The virus can be transmitted from one part of the body to another, or from person to person, almost always by direct contact.
Some people do not notice that they have warts at all. In others, they notice a small lump on the skin. In some, they may cause itching. When they are larger, they may bleed with minor trauma.
Yes. If they are not removed, the warts generally grow larger and become more in number. They may also spread from one area to another by touch. In addition, there is evidence that some of these warts can become cancerous if left untreated for a long time.
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. This must be carried out with great care and precision to
prevent injury to the normal skin surrounding the warts. This method usually requires several treatments performed
over several weeks.
Another form of treatment involves more rapid destruction of the warts using electrical knife, surgical removal or a combination of the two. Laser surgery may also be used but has no advantage over other treatments. These procedures provide immediate results but must be performed using a local anaesthetic or general or spinal anaesthetic, depending on the number and exact location of warts being treated.
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.
No. Almost always, the cautery and excision technique can be performed on an outpatient basis, and the patient can go home after the procedure.
This depends on each individual situation and the extent of warts removed. Most people are moderately uncomfortable for a few days after treatment, and pain medication may be prescribed. Depending on the extent of the disease, some people return to work the next day, while others may remain out of work for several days.
Not in most cases, unfortunately. Even with the cautery and surgical treatment that immediately destroy existing warts, many patients develop new warts after treatment. This occurs because viruses that cause the warts can live concealed in tissues that appear normal for up to six months or longer before another wart develops. New warts will often develop from the virus that was already present in the tissue, but these are not recurrences of warts already treated.