Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have genital warts?
Genital warts can be as small as a point and may not be visible to the eyes easily or they may grow in a group and form cauliflower-like shape that is highly visible and unsightly. Many times people confuse between genital warts and similar problems such as small boils, ingrown hair, etc.
How can you identify genital warts?
Genital warts appear in small or big sizes near the anus, outer genitals, area between genitals and anus. In women, the warts grow on the vulva, in the vaginal walls, in the cervix. In men, they may be found on the shaft or tip of the penis and testicles. Genital warts may also develop in mouth if oral sex is performed with an infected person, but this is rare. Along with the bumps, the warts may be accompanied with burning or itching and pain during intercourse. The warts are gray, red or pink in color.
Can genital warts disappear without any treatment?
Many patients of genital warts believe that the genital warts would disappear over a period of time on their own, without any treatment. Sometimes, talking to a doctor about genital warts becomes a big problem for some people. They hope that the warts will disappear with time or they look for any OTC medication.
Genital warts do not disappear without any treatment. There is no way that the warts will disappear unless the body attacks the warts and removes them. But that can be very rare.
Another possibility is rather very strong. The warts, which actively shed the virus, will help grow more warts and that will continue as a chain. It is better to stop any wishful thinking and get the genital warts treated. Once the warts become larger and increase in numbers, treatment may become more painful and bothersome.
Does treatment stop growth of genital warts?
Those who have genital warts sometimes find that new warts keep appearing while they get the older warts treated. They are surprised with these new warts. People believe that warts grow once and when one gets them treated the infection is cleared. It is not so. HPV virus that causes genital warts does not go away. Even if you get the old warts treated, new warts can appear. The best way is to get new warts treated. Ultimately the new warts may stop appearing. That may take some time and depends upon your body's immunity. Read facts about genital warts.
Genital warts & scarring
Many times, genital warts may leave scars after they heal. The skin may look different after the warts heal. Your skin may look different than before because of scars or hyper-pigmentation. In hyper-pigmentation also called as PIH (post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation), the skin develops excess of melanin (skin color pigment) on the site of inflammation. So that area may look darker.
If the skin looks different because of scars, consult your doctor about how to remove the scars. In either of the cases, local topical application should be made only after consultation with doctor because the genital skin is very sensitive.
Learn more about PIH and treatment of scars.
How do I know that I am a carrier of HPV virus?
For women, a test is available that can find out the presence of HPV virus in them. For men, serologic techniques to diagnose HPV infections are not helpful in individual cases and are not widely available.
If all my warts are cleared, does it mean I have no virus?
No, clearing of genital warts does not mean that you are free of the virus. After getting warts cleared, your chances of transmitting virus to others reduce.
The HPV virus that causes genital warts stays in the skin. After it causes warts, it becomes latent. But the virus may get active again and form warts. Therefore to think that once all the warts are cleared, you are free of virus is wrong. But if no warts reappear for an year, you may be quite confident about freedom from new warts.
Is there any treatment for HPV virus that causes genital warts?
There is no cure for HPV virus. It is still not known if the body ever eliminates the virus during the lifetime. As far as treatment is concerned, you can get the warts removed if they appear. Some people get warts after months and years of contacting the disease. During that time they are silent carriers of the disease and can transmit the virus to others.
If you keep good health and maintain strong immune system it is possible that you may fight the virus successfully.
Can a child get HPV genital warts?
There are possibilities that a child born of vaginal delivery may develop genital warts, if the mother had them. Your doctor will advise you more on this.
Article created on: July 16, 2006