September 7, 2010

| perri dermatology
Medically reviewed by Anthony J. Perri, M.D.

Gardasil is a vaccine that can help prevent warts.  It is a quadrivalent vaccine meaning it protects against 4 types of HPV: HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18.  HPV 6 and 11 are the types which cause genital warts, thus developing immunity against these strains can decrease the chances of genital warts by 90%.   HPV 16 and 18 are the HPV types which cause cervical cancer, so guarding against these strains can decrease the risk of cervical cancer by 75% and vulvar cancer by 50%.  The FDA has approved the use of Gardasil in both men and women ranging in age from 9 to 26.  Providing immunity to these HPV strains in both sexes can drastically reduce the incidence rate of HPV infection.  Many parents question why to immunize young children who are not currently sexually active.  This is done to prevent HPV infection before one is exposed later in life.  Gardasil is ineffective against a strain of HPV once a person becomes infected with it.  However, having genital warts does not indicate a patient should not receive the Gardasil vaccine as they may be infected with only one of the four strains of HPV that Gardasil protects against.  Thus, receiving the Gardasil vaccination can protect the patient from infection to the additional strains of HPV.  The Gardasil vaccine is usually administered by a patient’s primary care doctor and is given over a 6 month course as 3 seperate inoculations.  In my opinion, Gardasil is a vaccine I recommend for patients age 9 to 26