Women who are supporters of beauty and fashion are quite sensitive to any skin neoplasms, even if they do not occur in the open body area. However, in addition to the aesthetic side of the problem, some growths present a hidden danger that is the result of one or another virus, such as papillomas. Yes, these formations are not malignant, but their ability to spread through the skin, mucous membranes and infect other people requires increased attention and often appropriate treatment.
What is a papilloma and what does it look like?
Papillomas are a type of skin growth that results from the abnormal division of epithelial cells that caused the papillomavirus infection. Usually, these neoplasms are painless and do not cause discomfort to the woman. The exceptions are those that are often subjected to pressure and friction. Papilloma can occur in any part of the head and body, including intimate areas. It is also not uncommon for growths to be localized on the mouth, larynx, esophagus or tracheal mucosa.
Externally, the papilloma may look different (it all depends on its type), but it is usually round papules on the legs or oval formations that resemble papillas. The magnitude of the increase is:
- small (1-5 mm);
- medium (up to 1);
- large (1 to 3);
- giant (above 3).
The texture of papillomas is characterized by relative softness and fragility; vascular spots are often visible on their surface. The general color is mainly flesh color or one of the brown varieties. But there are also cases when the growths were purple, cyanotic and even charcoal black.
If the neoplasm has formed quite a long time ago, then (not always) peculiar bubbles appear near its base. At the same time, an intensified keratinization process is observed on the surface, and the papula itself becomes denser. It usually looks like an old papilloma.
What types of papillomas exist?
As papillomas are classified in many ways, it is reasonable to consider their simplest divisions.
By type of educational growth are:
- exophyte - that is, protruding above the surface of the skin / mucous membrane;
- endophyte - grows inside the epithelial layer.
The appearance and location of the papilloma are:
- ordinary (simple, vulgar);
- filiform (acrohord);
- spikes (warts).
Vulgar papillomas appear as small, round / oval moles that rise above the level of the epidermis. Their surface is almost always rough, with rough, horny skin. If the growths have one character, then they often do not require special treatment, because they "sleep" and do not cause any discomfort to the woman (except, of course, aesthetic and psychological). However, with multiple congestions, any type of external irritation, especially chemical and mechanical, can cause accelerated growth and thus fusion of papules in one big frightening place.
The location of simple papillomas on the body can be completely different, but practice shows that the back of the hands is the most popular. It is also possible to localize them on the face. In this case, they usually "sit" on the border of the lips and / or chin.
Flat neoplasms often go unnoticed because they do not differ from other areas of the skin or protrude only 1 mm above it. Their shape is mostly round, but an irregular polygon can also occur. The surface of such papillomas is, as a rule, smooth and the color is light brown, beige or pink-yellow. In most episodes, flat growths appear in groups, affecting the chest, back, or armpits. In rare cases, they are localized around the anus and on the mucous membranes of the external genitalia, causing hyperaemia, itching and rather painful sensations.
Papillomas that form on the legs are called plantar warts. Being individual coarse plates with a clear edge or overgrown with a whole company, they stand out sharply against the background of the rest of the dermis. Many women, because of their physical resemblance, are sometimes confused with fatigue on their feet because they wear tight, uncomfortable shoes. However, if you look well, it will not be difficult to distinguish the neoplasms. In the displayed callus, the skin model is always clearly visible, while the papilloma plantar type does not have this property.
Of course, all growths have an extremely negative effect on the quality of life: each step causes severe discomfort and pain to the "owner". And rubbing the foot does not preclude the development of the inflammatory process and the multiplication of wart formations on the area of skin adjacent to the "mother" papule.
Filamentous growths or, according to medical terminology, acrochords are considered to be the most common type of papilloma. They can take any shape, but at the same time they are always characterized by the presence of a thin "leg", which, incidentally, is very dangerous because it is more prone to injury and falls easily.
The structure of acro-chords is mostly flexible and they are mainly grouped. Favorite places in this case are the armpits, groin, neck, skin around the eyes, especially the upper eyelid. According to statistics, the most common filamentous papillomas occur in adulthood. However, this does not mean that they cannot develop in younger individuals.
Genital warts are found in intimate areas of women: around the clitoris, on the mucosa of the labia minora, at the entrance to the urethra, at the anus. Often their localization does not stop and they spread along the inside of the thighs, buttocks and, worse, the walls of the vagina and rectum. The appearance of a bright papilloma is traditionally compared to the image of a cauliflower or rooster comb, that is, their base is always wide and its several ends are pointed.
There is an urgent need to treat this type of unpleasant growth, as the slightest delay is associated with an increase in genital warts in the whole family and a chronic course. It is also worth noting that these neoplasms are often accompanied by dangerous infections such as chlamydia, syphilis or herpes.
When it comes to the main methods of classifying skin growths, we can't just say about their types depending on HPV (human papillomavirus).
What are the types of human papillomavirus infection?
Official medicine HPV is divided into 4 groups:
- not oncogenic;
- low oncogene;
- with moderate oncogenic risk;
- characterized by a high degree of oncogenicity.
Usually, vulgar, flat, plantar-type papillomas are not oncogenic, that is, they do not degrade into cancer over time. The type of HPV that caused them to develop may be completely different, but they are usually 1-5, 7, 10, 14, 26-29 and 57.
Although low, but still characteristic, the risk of malignancy is viruses numbered 6, 11, 42-44, 53-55. The first two types of HPV are considered to be the most common today. In women, they appear as growths on the cervix, vaginal mucosa, with pointed edges (warts).
HPV 31, 33, 35, 58. belong to the average risk of oncogenicity. In medical practice, type 31 is most often diagnosed. This strain of human papillomavirus infection is deceptive because its presence is almost invisible. In some cases, it can lead to the development of bowenoid papulosis - a sexually transmitted disease - expressed as erythematous patches, plaques or papules on the skin of the thighs, perianal region, genitals, perineum. By the way, this pathology is considered a precancerous condition.
HPVs such as 16, 18, 39, 45, 51 and 68 are at high risk for cancer. Recently, according to doctors, the first two strains have become particularly active. The symptoms of their manifestation are similar to each other. At first, the virus "sleeps" without giving up in any way, but then, due to certain conditions, it wakes up and appears in the form of an elongated papilloma. As a rule, localization applies to the genitals and cervix. Because the likelihood of this type of HPV malignancy is not only high, markers 16 and 18 are literally programmed to cause cancer in women, and symptoms often appear with a delay, it is better not to ignore a gynecological examination.
What are the causes of papillomas in women?
From the above article, it is clear that the cause of papillomas is HPV, that is, human papillomavirus infection. Consequently, the disease can be easily transmitted from a pathogen carrier to a healthy person. In addition, the most common method of infection is household contact. That is, using a single comb, towel, washcloth, manicure supplies, clothes, direct touch (especially in places where there are abrasions, cracks, scratches) the virus is transmitted from the patient to the "victim". Other possibilities for HPV transmission: sexual contact with the virus carrier and infection of the baby during childbirth.
Papillomas appear on the body, unfortunately, not immediately. Often their "hibernation" is prolonged, up to several years. Why? The fact is that many factors affect the awakening (activation) of the virus. For instance:
- hormonal changes, both severe and slightly volatile;
- long-term use of antibiotics, oral contraceptives;
- nerve concussions, prolonged depression;
- age over 50 years;
- weakened immunity;
- acute / chronic diseases of internal organs (ulcer, cholecystitis, pancreatitis);
- frequent infections and inflammations of various etiologies (tonsillitis, pneumonia, tonsillitis, otitis media, sinusitis, influenza);
- metabolic disorders (hypothyroidism, thyrotoxicosis, diabetes);
- hypodynamics, especially against malnutrition;
- difficult working and living conditions.
When should you see a doctor and remove the papilloma?
Of course, you should always contact a specialist, even if the papilloma is small in size, does not spoil the appearance and does not cause discomfort. And this is because, despite all its harmless appearance, it can carry a rather dangerous virus that has a tendency to benign cell degeneration in cancer cells. After the test, your doctor will quickly determine the marker of HPV, the degree of cancer risk, and tell you what to do next.
However, it is worth knowing that there are situations where it is inappropriate to think about contacting doctors or not. This:
- accumulation in case of integrity damage;
- with bleeding or release of serous substance from the substrate;
- with itching, burning, pain in the papule area;
- with redness of the skin around it;
- with a rapid increase in the size or spread of the neoplasm in neighboring, previously healthy areas;
- in case of change of color, texture, shape (especially if the growth has turned black, covered with a dense crust - it usually looks like a malignant papilloma).
It is also possible to get rid of growths for aesthetic reasons or in cases where they significantly impair the quality of life, localized, for example, on the sole, in an intimate place. The tendency to injure the papule is also an indication of its removal.
Many start treatment with topical medications.
How is papilloma eliminated in clinics and aesthetic centers?
Depending on the type of papilloma, the individual anatomical features of the patient, the specifics and availability of specialized equipment, neoplasms can be removed in different ways:
1. Cauterization using chemical acids
The essence of the technique is to use special acids with low pH level (trichloroacetic acid, nitrogen) or preparations famous for their combined composition (for example, based on lactic acid, oxalic acid, acetic acid). The moxibustion procedure is usually performed once a week for 4-6 weeks.
2. Surgical excision
Basically, surgery is performed when the papilloma has reached a large size. The patient is first treated with disinfection of the affected area, local anesthesia and direct excision of the papule, possibly by sending a piece for histology. At the end of the procedure, the wound should be sutured with a cosmetic suture.
3. Laser therapy
This method is considered the most optimal because it is less traumatic, painless and requires the shortest recovery period. The removal of the tumor with a laser beam is performed due to its high-precision focusing and determination of the required wavelength by a specialist. By the way, this is a method recommended by doctors for removing papillomas in an intimate place.
Exposure to cold is performed by applying a cotton swab immersed in liquid nitrogen to the infected neoplasm. After 10-30 seconds of exposure, it is removed from the problem area and a characteristic white bloom appears instead. This is a sign that mutation cells will soon be rejected and killed.
Ten years ago, electrocautery was a fairly popular procedure. However, it is rarely used today. The principle of the technique is based on the effect of high-frequency current, which is passed through electrodes of different lengths. As a result, the growths are cauterized and the affected tissues are destroyed. The unpleasant moment is that after the electrocautery session, a scar may remain in place of the papule.
If the doctor is convinced that the papilloma can be treated with medication, the patient is prescribed special immunostimulatory and antiviral therapy.