An overview of human papillomavirus infection for the dermatologist: disease, diagnosis, management, and prevention

Authors

  • Michelle Forcier,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics, Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Hasbro and Rhode Island Hospitals, Providence, Rhode Island
      Michelle Forcier, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Potter 200.2 593 Eddy Street, Hasbro and Rhode Island Hospitals, Providence, RI 02903, or email: mforcier@lifespan.org.
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  • Najah Musacchio

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Hasbro and Rhode Island Hospitals, Providence, Rhode Island
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Michelle Forcier, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Potter 200.2 593 Eddy Street, Hasbro and Rhode Island Hospitals, Providence, RI 02903, or email: mforcier@lifespan.org.

ABSTRACT

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common, usually transient, dermatologic infection transmitted by genital contact that can cause a variety of anogenital diseases, including warts (condyloma), dysplasia (cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal), and squamous cell carcinoma. A number of treatment modalities are available to treat anogenital warts, both patient- and provider-applied.

Treatment is efficacious, but lesions can recur. Bivalent and quadrivalent vaccines are approved to prevent HPV infection. Both are indicated to prevent cervical cancer, while the quadrivalent vaccine is also approved to prevent vaginal/vulvar cancers as well as genital warts in males and females. Providers should clearly explain the natural history and potential sequelae of HPV disease, counsel patients on prevention strategies, and recommend vaccination as an effective method of prevention to their patients.

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