|Anogenital warts and smoking; is there a connection?
Mar 13, 2002
Hi. I was diagnosed with anal warts about 6 months ago. After several months of Aldara and Condylox treatment I had surgery. The surgery got rid of most of the condyloma. Several months later I had external warts still, but on biopsy it appeared the internal ones were gone. Here's my question, I quit smoking several months ago and experienced a dramatic response of the external warts to Aldara within a couple of months. It appears I no longer have warts by the looks of it. Do you think there is a causal relationship? Just coincidence?
Response from Dr. Dezube
Congratulations on kicking the habit. Believe it or not, there is indeed a causal relationship between smoking and HPV (human papilloma virus) disease. HPV is the virus which causes both anal warts and anal cancer. Smokers usually have more severe disease. Although no one is quite sure as to why this occurs, one of the theories is that many of the chemicals in cigarette smoke alter the anal cells (and other cells) making them more receptive to the HPV virus. Staying off cigarette butts will be the best step to a healthy butt.
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