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I’ve Been Diagnosed with Anal Warts; Now What?

I’ve Been Diagnosed with Anal Warts; Now What?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s acquired through skin-to-skin, intimate contact with an infected person. While there are over 150 strains of the virus, only a few present elevated risks. 

Anal warts result from HPV infection. Any sexual or skin-to-skin contact in the area around the anus could transmit an HPV strain that causes warts. Anal intercourse isn’t necessary for infection. 

For assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, visit us at Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists. Our team, led by Dr. Lisa Perryman, specializes in anal warts. Treatment is important if you have anal warts; without it, they may become larger and more troublesome. 

Recognizing anal warts

Occurring both inside the anus and on the skin around the outside, warts often cause no problems. As with warts elsewhere on your body that are caused by HPV, anal warts start as small bumps. They might stay local to the anus, or they could spread to the genitals and other areas. 

As they develop, anal warts take on a texture resembling cauliflower and grow larger. They  range in color from your normal skin tone through light brown, peach, pink, or yellow. 

Symptoms of anal warts include: 

What happens after diagnosis? 

Small warts on the skin near the anus typically respond well to topical treatments including: 

Over-the-counter wart removers are not designed for use in the anal or genital areas. Don’t attempt to treat anal warts yourself using these products. 

For more advanced warts, we might recommend a non-surgical procedure to chemically remove them. Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to freeze a wart, which will later fall off. Trichloroacetic acid breaks down and destroys a wart, while electrocautery burns off the wart. Each of these methods may create discomfort and swelling as minor side effects. 

Internal warts or those that become too large for non-surgical removal are typically the target of surgery. This is most often an outpatient procedure using local or general anesthetic, and you’re home the same day. 

Recovery depends on the number and size of the warts removed. Dr. Perryman can give you an idea of what to expect when she assesses your condition. 

If you have or think you might have anal warts, book your examination with Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists by phone or online today. 

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