Self-Precautions among Dermatologists Managing HPV-Related Infections: Awareness and Current Practice of Dermatologists Practicing in Saudi Arabia

Skinmed. 2021 Aug 1;19(4):274-279. eCollection 2021.


Dermatologists are at risk of occupational exposures to human papilloma virus (HPV); however, the required precautions during each treatment modality of warts are not standardized. A self-administered online survey to investigate awareness and current practice of precautions during treatment of warts among dermatologists in Saudi Arabia was administered. A total of 228 responses were received. The most commonly used procedures for genital/other mucosal warts were liquid nitrogen (90%), electrocautery (57%), and in-clinic-administered podophyllin (51.3%). For cutaneous (non-genital) warts, the most commonly used methods for therapy were liquid nitrogen (95%) and electrocautery (77.6%). Of the respondents, 96% wore gloves while examining genital warts and 83.3% wore gloves while examining non-genital warts. The use of surgical masks during different procedures was variable from 27.7% to 76.7%. Only 38.6% always disinfected liquid nitrogen canister following use, while 49% always disinfected the electrocautery probe following use. Of the respondents, 34.65% had HPV infection, and of these, 55.7% developed warts during dermatology practice. There are variable precautions among dermatologists when dealing with HPV and further recommendations are warranted. As physicians, we gave our suggestions based on the literature review and our own opinions.


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