Genital Warts

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Remedies

Genital Warts Treatment Remedies


The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What are Genital Warts?

HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes). HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers.

More than 120 different subtypes of HPV have been identified. Of the 120 subtypes of HPV, 30 infect the genital epithelium.

The HPV subtype determines the probability of malignant transformation, but has no effect on the diagnosis or treatment of genital warts. These subtypes can be organized in 3 categories based on their cancer and dysplasia probability.

HPV types 6 and 11 are considered low risk and are the most common cause of genital warts.

HPV types 31, 33, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58 and 59 are medium risk, because they are frequent causes of squamous intraepithelial neoplasia, but less common causes of squamous cell carcinoma.

HPV types 16 and 18 are solid with cervical dysplasia and anogenital cancer.

Patients have visible genital warts can be infected by several types of HPV.

The immune system plays a central role in the regression of HPV-related genital diseases of both humoral and cellular immunity.

Cellular immunity seems to be the first choice for defense against infection with HPV.

The rate of subclinical infection is as high as 40% if measured by polymerase chain reaction DNA analysis on the skin of the genitals.

After the first clinical manifestation, the warts may grow in number and size, or may regress spontaneously (as many as 30% over four months). The share of long-term regression is unknown.

Traditional theories postulated that once a person is infected, HPV remains in the body for a lifetime. However, recent studies using sensitive DNA techniques showed that treatment can suppress against HPV which is possible by the immunological reaction.

Malignant tumors develop after long latency periods during which additional cellular changes occur in infected cells. The virus infects the basal layer and the first of its life cycle is linked to the progressive differentiation of epithelial cells.

Genital Wart Symptoms

Genital warts often have no symptoms (what someone feels). Sometimes the warts itch, burn, hurt, or bleed.

Small, scattered bumps that are skin-colored or a bit darker.

Flesh-colored spots that are raised or flat.

Itching or discomfort in your genital area.

Bleeding with intercourse.

Increased dampness in the genital area near the warts.

Increased vaginal discharge.

Often, genital warts may be so small and flat that they can't be seen with the naked eye. Sometimes, however, genital warts may multiply into large clusters.

The most common places for genital warts to develop in women are: around the vulva (the opening of the vagina), on the cervix (the neck of the womb), inside the vagina, around or inside the anus, on the upper thighs.

The most common places for genital warts to develop in men are: anywhere on the penis, on the scrotum, inside the urethra (tube where urine comes out), around or inside the anus, on the upper thighs.

Warts are usually painless, although on some people they can become itchy and inflamed. If a wart becomes inflamed, it may lead to bleeding from the urethra, vagina or anus.

The urethra is the tube connected to the bladder, which urine passes through. Warts that develop near or inside the urethra can also disrupt the normal flow of urine.

See a doctor if you or your partner develops bumps or warts in the genital area.

Genital Wart Causes

Genital warts can spread from one person to another during vaginal or anal sex.

The virus can be spread by skin to skin contact so it can be passed on by close genital contact – you don’t need to have penetrative sex (vaginal or anal) to pass it on.

The virus will not pass through a condom but as condoms do not cover all of the genital area it is possible to infect genital skin that is not covered by the condom.

The virus is most likely to be passed on when warts are present but it is still possible to pass the virus on after warts have disappeared.

It is possible, but very rare, to develop warts in the mouth or throat, or on the lips from oral sex.

Warts can spread from the genital area to the area around the anus without having anal sex.

It is possible for warts on the hand to be passed to the genitals but this is very rare.

It is possible for a pregnant woman who has genital warts at the time to pass the virus to her baby at birth, but this is rare.

You cannot get genital warts from kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, from swimming pools, toilet seats or from sharing cups, plates or cutlery.

Genital Wart infection is caused by the HPV virus.

More than 100 types of HPV have been found. Some types cause genital warts and some can lead to cervical cancer.

Types 6 and 11 cause most genital warts.

Other types such as 16 and 18 are high-risk and can cause abnormal cell changes on the cervix.

Not all types of HPV cause genital warts. Other types of HPV cause warts on other parts of the skin, such as the hands.

HPV is spread by direct contact.

The virus can be spread to or from the genitals, anus, mouth, or throat during sexual activities, but warts in the mouth or throat are extremely rare.

After the infection occurs, it may spread to other areas of the genitals or to the anal area.

You can spread the virus even if you do not have any symptoms of infection or any visible warts.

Genital Wart Treatment

Putting cream or a liquid onto the warts (for a few days each week). This can usually be done by yourself at home. Some people ask a partner to apply the cream or liquid for them. You may have to apply this treatment for a number of weeks.

Freezing (cryotherapy).

Heat (electrocautery), using local anaesthetic.

Surgery, using local anaesthetic.

Laser treatment, using local anaesthetic.

Wart treatments sold at the pharmacy are not suitable for genital warts.

Some creams can weaken latex condoms, diaphragms and caps. Polyurethane types can be safely used. Ask the doctor or nurse for advice.

Sometimes more than one treatment is used at the same time. These treatments may be uncomfortable, but they are not usually painful. Treatments can cause irritation and soreness for a couple of days, so the doctor may recommend you use some pain-relieving drugs.

The primary reason for treating genital warts is the amelioration of symptoms (including relieving cosmetic concerns) and ultimately, removal of the warts.

In most patients, treatment can induce wart-free periods. If left untreated, visible genital warts can resolve on their own, remain unchanged, or increase in size or number.

Available therapies for genital warts likely reduce, but probably do not eradicate, HPV infectivity. Whether the reduction in HPV viral DNA resulting from treatment reduces future transmission remains unclear.

No evidence indicates that the presence of genital warts or their treatment is associated with the development of cervical cancer.

Treatment of genital warts should be guided by the preference of the patient, available resources, and the experience of the health-care provider. No definitive evidence suggests that any of the available treatments are superior to any other, and no single treatment is ideal for all patients or all warts.

The use of locally developed and monitored treatment algorithms has been associated with improved clinical outcomes and should be encouraged. Because of uncertainty regarding the effect of treatment on future transmission of HPV and the possibility of spontaneous resolution, an acceptable alternative for some persons is to forego treatment and wait for spontaneous resolution.

Factors that might affect response to therapy include the presence of immunosuppression and compliance with therapy, which can consist of either a single treatment or complete course of treatment.

In general, warts located on moist surfaces or in intertriginous areas respond best to topical treatment. The treatment modality should be changed if a patient has not improved substantially after a complete course of treatment or if side effects are severe.

Most genital warts respond within 3 months of therapy. The response to treatment and any side effects should be evaluated throughout the course of therapy.

Complications occur rarely when treatment is administered properly. Patients should be warned that persistent hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation occurs commonly with ablative modalities and has also been described with immune modulating therapies (imiquimod).

Depressed or hypertrophic scars are uncommon but can occur, especially if the patient has had insufficient time to heal between treatments.

Rarely, treatment can result in disabling chronic pain syndromes (e.g., vulvodynia and hyperesthesia of the treatment site) or, in the case of anal warts, painful defecation or fistulas.

A limited number of case reports of severe systemic effects resulting from treatment with podophyllin resin and interferon have been documented.

Treatment regimens are classified into patient-applied and provider-applied modalities.

Patient-applied modalities are preferred by some patients because they can be administered in the privacy of the patient’s home. To ensure that patient-applied modalities are effective, patients must comply with the treatment regimen and must be capable of identifying and reaching all genital warts.

Follow-up visits are not required for persons using patient-applied therapy. However, follow-up visits after several weeks of therapy enable providers to answer any questions patients might have about the use of the medication and any side effects they have experienced; follow-up visits also facilitate the assessment of a patient’s response to treatment.

Cryotherapy destroys warts by thermal-induced cytolysis. Health-care providers must be trained on the proper use of this therapy because over- and undertreatment can result in complications or low efficacy. Pain after application of the liquid nitrogen, followed by necrosis and sometimes blistering, is common. Local anesthesia (topical or injected) might facilitate therapy if warts are present in many areas or if the area of warts is large.

Pedophyllin resin 10%–25% should be applied to each wart and allowed to air-dry before the treated area comes into contact with clothing; overapplication or failure to air dry can result in local irritation caused by spread of the compound to adjacent areas. The treatment can be repeated weekly, if necessary. The preparation should be thoroughly washed off 1–4 hours after application to reduce local irritation.

Surgical therapy has the advantage of usually eliminating warts at a single visit. However, such therapy requires substantial clinical training, additional equipment, and a longer office visit. After local anesthesia is applied, the visible genital warts can be physically destroyed by electrocautery, in which case no additional hemostasis is required. Care must be taken to control the depth of electrocautery to prevent scarring.

Alternatively, the warts can be removed either by tangential excision with a pair of fine scissors or a scalpel, by laser, or by curettage. Because most warts are exophytic, this procedure can be accomplished with a resulting wound that only extends into the upper dermis. Hemostasis can be achieved with an electrocautery unit or a chemical styptic. Suturing is neither required nor indicated in most cases if surgical removal is performed properly.

Surgical therapy is most beneficial for patients who have a large number or area of genital warts. Both carbon dioxide laser and surgery might be useful in the management of extensive warts or intraurethral warts, particularly for those persons who have not responded to other treatments.

Because all available treatments have shortcomings, some clinics employ combination therapy (simultaneous use of two or more modalities on the same wart at the same time). Data are limited regarding the efficacy or risk of complications associated with use of such combinations.

Alternative regimens include treatment options that might be associated with more side effects and/or less data on efficacy. Alternative regimens include intralesional interferon, photodynamic therapy, and topical cidofovir.

Genital Wart Prevention

Vaccines can protect males and females against some of the most common types of HPV. HPV vaccines are safe and effective. They are given in three doses over six months. It is important to get all three doses to get the best protection. The vaccines are most effective when given at 11 or 12 years old.

Two vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) are available to protect females against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers.

One of these vaccines (Gardasil) also protects against most genital warts. This vaccine has also been shown to protect against anal, vaginal and vulvar cancers.

Both vaccines are recommended for 11 and 12 year-old girls, and for females 13 through 26 years of age, who did not get any or all of the doses when they were younger.

One vaccine (Gardasil) protects males against most genital warts and anal cancers. This vaccine is recommended for boys aged 11 or 12 years, and for males aged 13 through 21 years of age, who did not get any or all of the three recommended doses when they were younger. Young men, 22 through 26 years of age, may get the vaccine.

The vaccine is also recommended for gay and bisexual men (or any man who has sex with men, and men and women who have compromised immune systems (including people living with HIV/AIDS) through age 26 years, who did not get any or all of the doses when they were younger.

For those who are sexually active, condoms may lower the risk of HPV infection. To be most effective, they should be used with every sex act, from start to finish. Condoms may also lower the risk of developing HPV-related diseases, such as genital warts and cervical cancer.

HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom - so condoms may not fully protect against HPV.

People can also lower their chances of getting HPV by being in a faithful relationship with one partner; limiting their number of sex partners; and being with a partner who has had no or few prior sex partners.

But even people with only one lifetime sex partner can get HPV and it may not be possible to determine if a partner who has been sexually active in the past is currently infected.

Condoms can lower your risk of getting genital warts.

Not having sex is the only sure way to avoid HPV.

Genital Wart Statistics & Facts

The American Social Health Association calculated that about 5.5 million new cases of HPV infections occur each year in the U.S.

About 40 million Americans are infected with genital warts.

There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses. Of these, 30 different types of HPV are spread through sexual contact.

HPV may lead to cervical cancer (at the opening of the womb).

Over half of the women infected with HPV show no symptoms.

About two-thirds (2/3) of the people that have sexual contact with someone who has HPV will develop genital warts.

HPV has been found in the genital tract of 85% of women with cervical cancer.

Genital warts are most common among men and women between 20 and 24 years of age.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).

HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes).

HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives.

There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers, but there are vaccines that can stop these health problems from happening.

According to the CDC, 90% of genital warts are caused by HPV 6 or 11.

A study by the CDC that was published in 2009 covers the years 2003-2005 and found that there is a high level of HPV prevalence that is spread across many different age groups and ethnicities.

The overall prevalence of HPV was found to be around 23% across all clinics participating in the study.

Clinics that were specializing in sexually transmitted diseases found that number to be 27%.

Clinics that specialized in family planning produced a prevalence of 26% while general practice family care clinics had a much lower prevalence of 16%. This lower prevalence is likely due to the lower sexual activity of the general population in juxtaposition to those that are going to clinics that involve sexual activity such as STD and family planning clinics.

Of those overall numbers it was found that ages 14-19 had a 35% prevalence, there was a 29% prevalence in the age group of 20-29, and then the numbers sharply declined with a prevalence of 13% in ages 30-39, 11% in the group that was 40-49, and 6.3% in the patients that were in the age group of 50-6.


When the numbers were cross referenced and pulled from a different clinical sampling the prevalence of HPV in US woman between 15 and 60 years old was just under 27%.

The average person has a greater than 50% chance of being infected at some point in their lifetime.

The fact that not all HPV sub-types infect a person for more than a few years is the only reason that this particular disease is not pushing a 75% infection rate.

Genital Warts Treatment Remedies plus

The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What are Genital Warts?

Genital warts are soft growths that occur on the genitals. Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV).

These skin growths can cause pain, discomfort, and itching. They are especially dangerous for women because some types of HPV can also cause cancer of the cervix and vulva.

Genital warts, also called condyloma acuminata, are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is related to the virus that produces common warts. The wart begins as a pinhead-sized swelling that enlarges and becomes pedunculated; the mature wart is often composed of many smaller swellings and may resemble the genital lesions of secondary syphilis.

Warts occurring in the genital areas are caused by certain types of papilloma viruses, and these types of warts can be transmitted to other people by sexual contact. Most often, genital warts are nothing more than a nuisance, but occasionally they can become so numerous or so large as to interfere with urination, bowel movements, or vaginal delivery.

Genital warts are almost always transmitted by sexual contact. About 70% of people who have sexual contact with a person infected with genital warts will also become infected. The incubation period for HPV ranges from 3 weeks to 8 months, with an average appearance of warts 2-3 months after initial contact.

Genital Wart Symptoms

Small, flesh-colored or gray swellings in your genital area.

Several warts close together that take on a cauliflower shape.

In women, genital warts can grow on the vulva, the walls of the vagina, the area between the external genitals and the anus, the anal canal, and the cervix.

In men, they may occur on the tip or shaft of the penis, the scrotum, or the anus.

Genital warts can also develop in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sexual contact with an infected person.

Genital Wart Causes

The virus that causes genital warts is called human papilloma virus (HPV). More than 70 different types of HPV exist. Certain types of HPV can lead to precancerous changes in the cervix, cervical cancer, or anal cancer. These are called high-risk types of HPV.

HPV infection spreads from one person to another through sexual contact involving the anus, mouth, or vagina. You can spread the warts even if you do not see them.

You may not see warts for 6 weeks to 6 months after becoming infected. You may not notice them for years.

Not everyone who has come into contact with the HPV virus and genital warts will develop them.

If a child has genital warts, you should suspect sexual abuse as a possible cause.

Genital Wart Treatment

Factors that influence selection of treatment include wart size, wart number, anatomic site of the wart, wart morphology, patient preference, cost of treatment, convenience, adverse effects, and provider experience.

The application of 3%–5% acetic acid, which causes skin color to turn white, has been used by some providers to detect HPV-infected genital mucosa. However, acetic acid application is not a specific test for HPV infection. Therefore, the routine use of this procedure for screening to detect mucosal changes attributed to HPV infection is not recommended.

Podofilox is an antimitotic drug that destroys warts, is relatively inexpensive, easy to use, safe, and self-applied. Podofilox solution should be applied with a cotton swab, or podofilox gel with a finger, to visible genital warts twice a day for 3 days, followed by 4 days of no therapy. This cycle can be repeated, as necessary, for up to four cycles. The safety of podofilox during pregnancy has not been established.

Imiquimod is a topically active immune enhancer that stimulates production of interferon and other cytokines. Imiquimod cream should be applied once daily at bedtime, three times a week for up to 16 weeks. Local inflammatory reactions, including redness, irritation, induration, ulceration/erosions, and vesicles, are common with the use of imiquimod, and hypopigmentation has also been described.

Sinecatechin ointment, a green-tea extract with an active product (catechins), should be applied three times daily (0.5-cm strand of ointment to each wart) using a finger to ensure coverage with a thin layer of ointment until complete clearance of warts. This product should not be continued for longer than 16 weeks . The medication should not be washed off after use. Sexual (i.e., genital, anal, or oral) contact should be avoided while the ointment is on the skin.

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