Many have come across such varieties of benign neoplasms as moles, warts, papillomas or condylomas. Having first discovered unpleasant finds, a large number of questions arise. Are these neoplasms dangerous? How to distinguish between them?
Skin growths. What it is?
The formation of papillomas and genital warts is associated with the proliferation of epithelial cells or mucous membranes. This growth is associated with the presence of papillomovirus in the body. In accordance with the strain of HPV (human papillomavirus), which attacked the body, neoplasms differ in shape and place of localization on the body. In most cases, they carry an exclusively cosmetic problem and make daily hygiene procedures problematic.
The main difference between papilloma and condyloma is its appearance and location. Papilloma is a benign growth that matches the skin in color (sometimes the shade of the papilloma can differ from the skin by one or two shades), soft in its structure, which is attached to the body using the so-called “leg”.
Condyloma is similar to the accumulation of small papillae, most often appearing on the mucous membranes of the genitals. Their occurrence is associated with irritation from the constant rubbing of delicate skin with tissue.
Condylomas are divided into two subspecies:
- Wide – have a flat base and act as a secondary sign of syphilis;
- Pointed – consist of many "lobules" and have a thin "leg".
Genital – the most common of genital warts. They can be located on the genitals, in the corner of the mouth, between the buttocks, in the armpits or inguinal folds.
Papillomas also have their own varieties:
- Filamentous or true papillomas. Their cause is the second and seventh strain of papillomovirus. It all starts with the appearance of a yellowish spot on the damaged area of the skin. Then it begins to "grow" – it becomes elongated and rounded. Such growths have a “leg” tapering to the base, with the help of which they are attached to the skin. Localized mainly on the skin of the neck and back;
- Keratopapillomas. Convex growths, small in diameter (up to 15 mm) with keratinized scales on top;
- Flat papillomas. They are provoked by the tenth, twenty-eighth and forty-ninth strain of the virus. Slightly elevated above the main skin (up to 2 mm in height), these outgrowths of irregular or round shape are located in a small group mainly on smooth skin of the face.
Causes of occurrence
The occurrence of any benign skin diseases is associated with infection with human papillomovirus. But HPV infection does not immediately manifest itself in the form of skin manifestations. For a long time, the virus can "sleep". And the manifestation of papillomatosis (this word refers to a disease associated with HPV infection) can be triggered by factors such as:
- Immunodeficiency (acquired or hereditary);
- Nervous strain;
- Acute respiratory viral disease;
- Long-term use of certain medications. For example, antibiotics, steroids, cytostatics;
- Exacerbation of chronic urogenital diseases;
- Herpes simplex infection type II.
Papillomas and condylomas: similarities and differences
Combining these two neoplasms is their root cause – human papillomavirus (HPV). It is part of a group of viruses that integrate into the DNA of cells of the human body, which leads to a change in the structure of cells. The external manifestations of HPV infection in the body depend on the strain of the virus that attacked the person and on the location of the skin lesions.
Some strains of papillomovirus create a purely cosmetic problem and do not transform into cancer, others lead to the degeneration of damaged epithelial cells into cancerous.
A person infected with HPV for a long time may not even suspect that it is a carrier of the virus. Papillomovirus can be in "sleep" mode due to the strong immune defense of the human body. It will go into the active form of HPV in the presence of factors that weaken the immune system.
The insidiousness of the human papilloma virus is that when it “wakes up,” it changes the DNA of the cells and can provoke the oncology.
What is the difference between papillomas and genital warts?
The difference between papillomas and genital warts can be formulated on several points:
- External signs that have already been discussed above;
- The HPV strain causing a particular neoplasm;
- Ways of the virus to enter the body;
- Localization of growths on the body;
- Criticality of the neoplasm;
- The ability to transform into malignant tumors.
Let us dwell on each item. Different strains of human papillomavirus are responsible for the appearance on the skin or mucous membranes of papillomas or condylomas. So, the development of papillomas provokes types 2, 7, 10, 28 and 49, and the occurrence of condyloma is responsible for the 6 and 11 types of papillomavirus.
The ways of infection of different types of papillomovirus are also different. If the papilloma can be "received as a gift" in a household way, when using general hygiene items, dishes, handshakes. Then the sixth and eleventh subspecies of HPV is transmitted exclusively through sexual contact, often together with other sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, condylomas are referred to as sexually transmitted infections.
The difference between papilloma and condyloma is also in the place of growths.
Papillomas "prefer" to settle in open areas of the skin:
- Filiform papillomas are often found on the back and shoulders;
- Flat papillomas of smooth skin appear on the face;
- Groups of filiform papillomas form on the neck;
- Simple papillomas appear on the hands, which indicates the transmission of HPV to the child from the mother during childbirth or breastfeeding;
- On the feet there are papillomas, which are called "plantar warts."
The location of genital warts refers to the mucous membranes of the body:
- Oral mucosa. Such growths are called "blooming papillomatosis." Young children, elderly people and patients with a history of immunodeficiency are affected;
- Genital mucosa. Most often, condylomas are located in the inguinal region, near the head of the penis or in the perineum. Such neoplasms are prohibited to comb. They are most likely to transform into malignant forms. Therefore, you should immediately visit a doctor and establish which strain of the virus caused the formation.
Condylomas are more contagious, unlike papillomas. This means that they are much easier to transmit from an infected person to a healthy person.
What else is the danger of genital warts manifested in is their ability to develop into cancer. Therefore, if you can wait with the removal of the papilloma, then the warts should be removed immediately and only under the supervision of a dermatologist. This is associated with an increased oncological risk of these neoplasms.
For therapeutic help in the detection of any neoplasm on the body, you must contact a specialized clinic. Only a qualified dermatologist, having in his arsenal modern diagnostic techniques, will be able to make the correct diagnosis and prescribe effective treatment.
When diagnosing condyloma or papilloma, the treatment prescribed by the doctor will be based on three main methods:
- Prescribing antiviral and antifungal drugs;
- Increased resistance and protection of the body as a whole;
- Getting rid of a skin defect.
If a malignant pathology is suspected, the dermatologist will prescribe additional studies (for example, the identification of tumor markers). After which therapy continues with the help of cytostatics.
Getting rid of skin growths is possible using one of the following methods:
- Surgically. More recently, it was the only effective way to remove growths. However, the consequences of applying this technique in the form of scarring and scarring led to the search for more humane and painless ways to deal with skin defects;
- Chemical method. To burn out growths, special pharmacy products containing potent acids are used;
- Cryocoagulation. The neoplasm is frozen with liquid nitrogen at an extremely low temperature. The high probability of relapse becomes a big minus of using this technique;
- Radio wave application to remove growths. A painless and quick way to cope with the problem of unwanted growths;
- Laser technique. One of the latest developments. However, it is not suitable for all neoplasms.
What method of removal of the neoplasm is suitable in each case, the doctor decides, based on the severity of the disease, the presence of other chronic diseases in the patient, the state of his immune system, the presence of allergic reactions, etc.
Attacking the human body, papillomovirus settles there forever. But you can restrain him in the inactive phase. To do this, you need to strengthen your own immunity. Prevention of papillomatosis will be a healthy lifestyle and rejection of bad habits, a balanced menu and timely qualified diagnosis of emerging tumors, as well as vaccination of children from nine years old.