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Anal warts, also known as condyloma acuminata, are small warts that can occur in the anal canal. Initially, anal warts appear as tiny blemishes that can be as small as the head of a pin or grow into larger cauliflower-like protuberances. They can be yellow, pink, or light brown in color, and only rarely are painful or uncomfortable. In fact, individuals infected often are unaware that they have anal warts.
Most patients have between one to 10 genital warts that range in size from roughly 0.5–1.9 cm. Some will complain of painless bumps or itching, but often, these warts can remain completely unnoticed.
Roughly 90 percent of all anal warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) types 6 and 11, which are the least likely of over 60 types of HPV to become cancerous. Anal warts are usually transmitted through direct sexual contact with someone who is infected with condyloma acuminata anywhere in the genital area, including the penis and vagina.
Treatment options include various prescription creams, electrical cautery or surgery. Warts that appear inside the anal canal will almost always be treated with cauterization or surgical removal. Surgical removal, also known as excision, has the highest success rates and lowest recurrence rates. Studies have shown that initial cure rates range from 63–91 percent.
Unfortunately, some cases require numerous treatments because the virus that causes the warts can live in the surrounding tissue. The area may seem normal and wart-free for six months or longer before another wart develops.
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