How is HPV Treated?
Because there is no cure for the Human Papillomavirus,
HPV, as is the case with most viruses, any HPV treatment
that is given or recommended by a healthcare professional
is directed at the symptoms. In many cases and with
many people, there are no apparent symptoms with HPV
and a person may have it and not realize that they have
been infected. The symptoms, and therefore the HPV treatment,
vary with the strain of HPV that has infected the individual
and it is possible to have several strains of the virus
at the same time.
So, the answer to the question, "How is HPV treated?"
is – it depends on the symptoms that present and
the strain of HPV that has caused the infection and
these symptoms. Testing positive to HPV doesn't mean
that there is an appropriate treatment.
The most common and the most recognizable symptom of
HPV is warts. These warts can be the common warts found
usually found on the hands, mainly in children; plantar
warts, the warts that grow inwards on the sole of the
feet; genital warts that affect the genital and anal
areas of both men and women and other very rare conditions.
Each type of wart is caused by different strains of
HPV, so just because you have one type of symptom doesn't
mean that you have other strains as well, although you
might.While these common warts are an inconvenience, they
are rarely dangerous, although they can be painful and
could become infected if they bleed. The HPV symptoms
that cause the most concern are genital warts, especially
in women, as these have been shown to be a precursor
to cervical cancer.
HPV treatment for common warts:
The treatment for common warts is usually to use one
of the over-the-counter medications that are designed
for removing warts. Many of these products contain salicylic
acid, which chemically burns the wart; this means that
you can also damage the surrounding skin and tissue,
so extreme care needs to be taken when applying the
product. Follow the directions on the package carefully
to prevent accidents.
There are also natural treatments for HPV which include
natural wart removal products. While these may be safer
to use, it could possibly take longer for the warts
to fall off. Pure Tea Tree Oil is a popular natural
treatment and pure Lemon Essential Oil also works safely
and really well.
Just apply a few drops of the oil onto
the wart, 2 or 3 times a day, and cover. Repeat until
the wart falls away. Onion juice, garlic juice and apple
cider vinegar are old home remedies that some people
swear by; just apply onto the wart like the tea tree
A popular non-chemical HPV home treatment is the duct
tape treatment. Many people swear by this cure for warts
while others have less success with it. It is safe and
inexpensive. You apply a piece of duct tape to the wart
so that it is fully covered and watertight and airtight.
After a few days, remove the duct tape and soak the
wart in warm water, then pare it down with an emery
board or nail file. Repeat this process until the wart
is gone, which could take several weeks.
For warts that are painful, in an awkward place or
return quickly and regularly, your doctor may decide
to freeze them off using liquid nitrogen in a process
called cryotherapy, use a laser to burn them off or
even remove them surgically. While some of these treatments
for HPV may sound extreme, they are simple, quick procedures
that are usually painless. A local anesthetic may be
applied to the site before treatment.
Whichever HPV treatment you use for removing common
warts, they can recur at any time until the virus has
been beaten by your immune system. There are strategies
later in this article for strengthening your immune
HPV Treatment for genital warts
Genital warts, in themselves, are not dangerous but
they can be unsightly, itchy, uncomfortable or painful.
They occur on or in the genitals or anus and can affect
both men and women. Be guided by your doctor as the
best HPV treatment for genital warts but be aware that
they can recur for as long as you have the virus in
Don't try to use any over-the-counter products
to remove genital warts; you need specialist products
prescribed by a doctor. The HPV symptom of genital warts
are not the same thing as the common warts that appear
on your hands.
When the genital warts first appear, many doctors prefer
a 'watch and see' approach as the warts often go away
without any intervention. If they are not treated, genital
warts may disappear, stay the same, become bigger or
increase in number.
Genital warts can be removed in similar ways to common
warts by a doctor – freezing with liquid nitrogen,
cauterization, laser or surgery, either by incision
or the LEEP procedure. There are also prescription creams
that treat genital warts but these frequently cause
pain or irritation. These creams are not recommended
for pregnant women.
Removing the genital warts does not remove the virus,
so the warts can recur. It is not known if removing
the warts lessens the possibility that the person will
infect a sexual partner. Depending on the location of
the removed genital warts, you might experience discomfort,
bleeding, cramps or a discharge.
Tissue from genital
warts will also be sent for pathological examination
because of the link between HPV and cervical cancer
in women. However, the strains of HPV that are linked
with cancer generally do not cause genital warts although
you can be infected by more than one strain.
Natural treatments for HPV
You will probably be told by your doctor that the symptoms
and the virus often go away on their own, although this
can take months or even years. This is why doctors often
prefer to wait and see before removing genital warts.
Many people who have been infected with HPV have no
symptoms and don't know they have the virus; symptoms
can also appear months or even years after initial infection.
Natural HPV treatments used by herbalists and natural
therapy practitioners include escharotic treatments,
which use caustic herbs like bloodroot; beta-sitosterols
which are plant sterols that have been shown to manage
chronic HPV infections; curcumin, a component of turmeric,
which has anti-viral properties. Make sure you consult
a trained, registered natural therapy professional.
Strengthen your immune system to treat HPV
A strong immune system is your first line of defence
in defeating infections, toxins and other bad stuff
that tries to penetrate your body. It has been shown
that HPV patients with strong immune systems become
virus-free much faster than those with weak or compromised
There are several natural ways you can
strengthen your immune system and enjoy the added benefits
of better health, increased energy, improved mental
function and reduced stress. They include:
- A healthy, nutritionally-balanced diet with lots
of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fish, yogurt,
wholegrains, nuts, seeds and pulses.
- Vegetables that are deeply colored red or green
(leafy greens are great) are especially good; aim
for several different colors of vegetables at each
meal. Fresh vegetables contain phytonutrients that
stimulate enzymes that protect and repair the cells
of the body. These enzymes also help the body to fight
- Fruits are full of antioxidants and enzymes –
berries are especially good.
- Avoid over-cooking vegetables – raw or lightly
steamed is best.
- Avoid or limit processed food, fatty and sugary
food items and fast food. These are low in nutrition
and high in what adversely affects your immune system.
- Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption adversely
affect your immune system, so quit!
- Stress weakens your immune system so find ways to
relax and manage stressful situations. There is lots
of advice, courses, books etc available on this subject.
- Supplements may help you get all the nutrients you
are lacking and may help to kick-start a sluggish
immune system. A good quality multi-vitamin every
day is a good start; Echinacea, Beta-carotene, Calcium,
Magnesium, Selenium and Folic Acid are very important
immune system nutrients.
- Herbal supplements that help the immune system include
Astragalus, Ginkgo Biloba, Goldenseal, Olive Leaf,
Red Clover, Fenugreek and Spirulina. These are all
available at your favorite health store.
Strengthening your immune system is possibly the best
HPV treatment, especially where there are no symptoms,
and has all the added benefits to your health and well-being