The term condylomata, plural of condyloma, come from the Greek word ‘kondyloma,’ which means knuckle. It includes two kinds of genital infections:-
- Condylomata acuminate, commonly called genital or anogenital warts, are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). They are most often seen on the glans penis but can also develop on the skin of the penile shaft. They are papillomas that are typically lined by hyperplastic squamous epithelium with structural changes.
- Condylomata lata, which involves white-colored flat papules, are associated with secondary syphilis. They can develop on genitals as well as other sites such as palms of hands and soles of feet.
As condylomata acuminate are more common, the term ‘condylomata’ is commonly used to refer to condylomata acuminate or genital warts. Condylomata acuminate are commonly occurring STD transmitted diseases around the world. It is believed that almost all intercouse active people will, at some point in their lives, contract infection with at least one type of HPV. More than 10 million cases of condylomata are diagnosed in India every year. It is the most common growth found in the anal and perianal regions. These lesions can easily develop on warm and moist mucosal regions, which is characteristic of skin in the anogenital area. It is common in teens and young age. However, it may be found in infants due to the possibility of perinatal transmission.
SYMPTOMS OF CONDYLOMATA
The signs and symptoms of genital warts are:-
- Small, brown, pink, or flesh-colored growths in the genital area.
- Cauliflower like growth caused by several warts close together
- Itching and uneasiness in the genital area.
- Bleeding of warts during intercourse.
- Genital warts at times are so small and flat to be visible.
- In females, the common sites of genital warts are vulva, vaginal walls, the area between external genitalia and anus, wall of anal canal and cervix.
- In males, common sites of genital warts are glans or shaft of penis, scrotum and anus.
- Genital warts can also occur in the mouth and throat of someone who had to kiss an already infected person.
CAUSES OF CONDYLOMATA
The genital warts are caused by various strains of the human papillomavirus. These warts spread almost always through lovemaking contact. Even if the warts are too small or too flat to be visible to the naked eye, the infection can still spread through intimate contact.
There are various risk factors that predispose an individual to become infected with HPV. These include:-
- Having unprotected intercourse with multiple partners.
- Having some other intimacy transmitted infection.
- Having intercourse with someone whose intercourse history is unknown.
- Becoming intercourse active at a young age
- If someone’s immune system is compromised e.g., due to HIV or immunosuppressants used for an organ transplant.
DIAGNOSIS OF CONDYLOMATA
Genital warts are generally diagnosed by a physician from their appearance itself. At times a biopsy is necessary. Common tests associated with genital warts are:-
- PAP test- Regular PAP tests help to detect vaginal and cervical changes that are caused by genital warts and even the early signs of cancer of the cervix.
- HPV test- This test is advised for women aged 30 years and above. In this, a sample of cells taken from the cervix during a PAP test is tested to detect the presence of cancer, causing strains of HPV.
COMPLICATIONS OF CONDYLOMATA
Complications due to HPV infection include:-
- Cancer – Not all strains of HPV cause cancer, but its wise for women to have regular Pap tests done, especially those detected to have higher risk strain of HPV. These high-risk strains of HPV can cause cancer of cervix, vulva, penis, anus, throat and mouth.
- Pregnancy-related problems- Though rare but at times, it has been seen that genital warts enlarge in size during pregnancy, making the passing of urine difficult. Warts located on the vaginal wall prevent the vaginal tissue from stretching during labor and may even bleed when stretched. Rarely are cases a baby born to a lady with such warts develops warts in the throat and may require surgery to prevent the airway from getting blocked.
PREVENTION OF CONDYLOMATA
- It is seen that even the use of condoms during intercourse does not necessarily save someone from getting genital warts. Therefore avoiding intercourse contact with multiple partners is advised.
- Getting vaccinated is another way one can save oneself from getting genital warts.
HOMEOPATHY FOR CONDYLOMATA
If there is no associated discomfort with warts, one generally does not need any treatment as they usually go away without any treatment.
But if warts cause itching, burning, pain, or bleeding, or if they are spreading, one needs to be treated for these warts. Homeopathy has a great role to play in the treatment of these genital warts. It is seen that warts often return after allopathic treatment, as it is based on only removing them externally. Warts are caused by viruses, and there is no strengthening of immunity against them through such localized treatment.
According to the founder of homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, by merely removing the external manifestation of HPV infection from the body, the interior and more vital organs of the body become increasingly susceptible to the disorder. Homeopathic treatment for condylomata is effective as the recurrence rate of warts once they shed off is minimal. Homeopathic medicines that are prescribed after a thorough case taking set the immune system into order and have no side effects. Best homeopathic medicine for condylomata is the one most similar to disease manifestation elicited from both physical and mental spheres of the patients. At times even past history, intrauterine history and family history of a patient are elicited for prescription of the right medicine.
Common condylomata medicines in homeopathy are:-
Medorrhinum- It is indicated for genital warts in females. Women who require this medicine tend to have thin and excoriating leucorrhoea with a fishy odor. They have offensive, dark, profuse and clotted menses that are difficult to wash along with a frequent urge to urinate that time. They have a tendency to lie on the abdomen while sleeping. They have a characteristic craving for sweet, salty, orange, green fruit and ice.
Mercurius Solubilis- It is suited for genital warts accompanied by itching, burning and bleeding. This is worse after urination and better washing with cold water. The patients who require this medicine tend to suffer from mouth ulcers and excessive salivation at night. They have profuse perspiration accompanying every complaint, but it does not relieve their suffering.
Nitricum Acidum- It is suited for large and jagged genital warts that bleed on washing. Patients requiring this medicine tend to have very offensive discharges from their bodies. They are often headstrong, irritable, hateful and vindictive. Warts may have characteristic splinter like pains.
Thuja Occidentalis- It is useful for genital warts in both males and females. In females, the commonly indicated locations for warts are vulva and perineum. The patients requiring this medicine have in addition to warts present or past history of gonorrhea with profuse, thick and greenish discharge. They are sensitive to cold and tend to have left-sided complaints in general.