It may take from four weeks to eight months, or longer, for the warts to appear after contact with the virus. Sometimes warts never appear or you can’t see them. Whether you can see warts or not, the virus can still be passed on to others.
Bennett JE, et al. Papillomaviruses. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 9, 2016.
Whenever genital lesions develop, a doctor should be seen to establish an accurate diagnosis. Often genital warts cause a great deal of anxiety; this can be helped by obtaining realistic information about the disease, along with supportive counselling.
Most men have never heard of human papillomavirus (HPV), but over half of sexually active men who contract the virus at some time in their life. In the majority of cases, there are no symptoms and the virus goes away on its own within two years, but if the infection lasts, it can cause genital warts. If you are a man, concerned about genital warts, read on to find out information on the causes, locations, symptoms, and available treatments and medications for genital warts.
An HPV vaccine called Gardasil can protect men and women from the most common HPV strains that cause genital warts, and can also protect against strains of HPV that are linked to cervical cancer. A vaccine called Cervarix is also available. This vaccine protects against cervical cancer, but not against genital warts.
Yes, you can. Many doctors have been recommending the use of VidaroX in treating wart outbreaks in combination with prescription medications. VidaroX works so well on its own, though, once you start using it, there’s no need to take anything else. VidaroX also has no side effects (fever, easy bruising, vomiting or fainting) like most prescription medications.
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These vaccines are most effective if given to children before they become sexually active. Research has shown that people under 21 and age 21 to 30 who receive the HPV vaccine can reduce their risk of getting genital warts by up to 50 percent.
The term oral cancer includes cancer of the mouth (oral cavity) and the back of the mouth (oropharynx). Red and white patches inside the mouth, bleeding, loose teeth, pain upon swallowing, a lump in the neck, earache, and a sore on your lip or in your mouth that won’t heal are all symptoms of oral cancer. Treatment for oral cancer depends upon the staging of the disease and usually involves surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
The warts can be removed, but the viral infection itself can’t be cured. The virus goes on living inside your skin. This is why the warts often return after they have been removed. You may need to have them removed more than once.
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infections that are transmitted during any type of sexual exposure, including intercourse (vaginal or anal), oral sex, and the sharing of sexual devices, such as vibrators. Women can contract all of the STDs, but may have no symptoms, or have different symptoms than men do. Common STDs in women are:
In individuals with a history of previous HPV infection, the appearance of new warts may be either from a new exposure to HPV, or from a recurrence of the previous infection. As many as one-third of people with warts will experience a recurrence.
You catch genital warts by having sex with someone who has the virus, even if you can’t see any warts. It can take many weeks, months, or even years before any genital warts show. Genital warts are very easy to catch and pass on to your partners.
Tests for HPV are now available to help providers screen for cervical cancer in certain women. These tests are not useful for screening adolescent females for cervical cancer, nor are they useful for screening for other HPV-related cancers or genital warts in men or women. HPV tests should not be used to screen:
Warts are caused through direct contact with HPV, which is contagious. HPV may spread by person-to-person contact or through direct contact with an object used by a person with the virus. The virus that causes warts also can spread to other places on the body of the person with warts.
Sexually active persons can lower their chances of getting HPV by limiting their number of partners. However, HPV common and often goes unrecognized; persons with only one lifetime sex partner can have the infection. For this reason, the only definitive method to avoid giving and getting HPV infection and genital warts is to abstain from sexual activity.
There are well over 100 types of HPV, but only a few that can cause genital warts. The HPV viruses that cause warts is extremely contagious, and can be passed on through sexual contact. Over 65% of people who have sex with a person who has genital warts will also get them. Read here if you want to find out more about the risks of having sex with genital warts.
More than 40 types of HPV cause genital warts. Genital warts can be passed from person to person through intimate sexual contact (touching someone’s genitals or having vaginal, oral, or anal sex). In some rare cases, genital warts are transmitted from a mother to her baby during childbirth.
Gardasil 9 has activity against the four viral types in the basic Gardasil, but also against virus types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 (for a total of 9 viral types, hence the name). It also is approved for both males and females aged 9-26 years of age.
Over-the-counter cryotherapy. There are home cryotherapy kits that you can buy without a prescription, such as Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away. These treatments may be safe for warts on the hands or feet but not for genital warts. Follow all instructions carefully.
If you think you have an STD, tell your partner(s) as soon as possible. You may be able to spread the infection even if you have already begun treatment or are using condoms. With some STDs, doctors recommend treating both partners at the same time. This may be a difficult conversation. Some people find it helpful to write a script ahead of time. Be sure to let your partner ask questions and express his or her feelings.
Tea tree oil can be irritating and cause some burning or inflammation which is how it reduces the size of the wart. Do not take tea tree oil internally by mouth or through the vagina. You will need to apply the oil repeatedly for several weeks. Discontinue use if it is too irritating.
You don’t have to have sex to get an STD. Skin-to-skin contact is enough to spread HPV, the virus family that causes genital warts. Some types cause warts and are usually harmless, but others may lead to cervical or anal cancer. Vaccines can protect against some of the most dangerous types.
Most sexually active couples share HPV until the immune response suppresses the infection. Partners who are sexually intimate only with each other are not likely to pass the same virus back and forth. When HPV infection goes away the immune system will remember that HPV type and keep a new infection of the same HPV type from occurring again. However, because there are many different types of HPV, becoming immune to one HPV type may not protect you from getting HPV again if exposed to another HPV type.
Another product available over-the-counter that can aid in wart removal is silver nitrate in the form of a caustic pencil, which is also available at drug stores. In a placebo-controlled study of 70 patients, silver nitrate given over nine days resulted in clearance of all warts in 43% and improvement in warts in 26% one month after treatment compared to 11% and 14%, respectively, in the placebo group. The instructions must be followed to minimize staining of skin and clothing. Occasionally pigmented scars may develop.
Any sexually active person is at risk for HPV. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), nearly half of people who have sex have had some type of HPV infection. However, genital warts are common for people who meet the following criteria:
For most people, there are no long-term problems from genital warts. A pregnant person who gets HPV may have warts that increase in size, bleed, or become infected. Genital warts may be passed onto the newborn, but this is extremely rare.
Men and women up to age 26 can receive the HPV vaccine. It can also be given as early as age 9, and comes in a round of three different shots. These vaccines should be given before becoming sexually active, as they are most effective before a person is exposed to HPV. Using a condom every time you have sex can also reduce your risk of contracting genital warts.
Normally, warts are found on the top layer of skin (epidermis). They may look different depending on what area of the body they are on. They can often have small black or dark red spots in the center. These spots are very small clotted blood vessels.
Use apple cider vinegar. Take a cotton ball (only enough to cover the wart) and soak it in the vinegar. Secure with a band aid overnight. Keep in mind that this might be very painful. Change the cotton pad daily and keep it on every night if you can. After one week, the body of the wart will start to peel off and you can gently scrape it away to reveal healthy flesh beneath. Let the area heal once this is done.
Acid (liquid or patch): The most common wart treatment is a special kind of acid, called salicylic acid, to put on the wart. Don’t worry. Acid sounds scary but it doesn’t really hurt, although it might sting just a bit. You can paint it on the wart like polish, or your parents can buy a patch that looks like a bandage and has the acid in it. Before your parents put on the acid, you should soak the wart in warm water for about 10 minutes. Then your parents should buff the wart with something that has a rough surface, like a cardboard nail file, called an emery board, or a special rough stone called a pumice stone. That softens up the wart so the acid works better. The acid peels away the skin. Eventually, the wart will peel away, too.
Persons who are HIV-infected are more likely to develop genital warts than persons who are not HIV-infected (413); moreover, lesions are more recalcitrant to treatment due to depressed cell-mediated immunity. No data suggest that treatment modalities for external genital warts should be different for HIV-infected persons. However, persons who are immunosuppressed because of HIV or other reasons might have larger or more numerous warts, might not respond as well as immunocompetent persons to therapy for genital warts, and might have more frequent recurrences after treatment (414-416). Squamous cell carcinomas arising in or resembling genital warts might occur more frequently among immunosuppressed persons, therefore requiring biopsy for confirmation of diagnosis for suspicious cases. Because of the increased incidence of anal cancer in HIV-infected MSM, screening for anal intraepithelial neoplasia by cytology can be considered (417). However, evidence is limited concerning the natural history of anal intraepithelial neoplasias, the reliability of screening methods, the safety and response to treatments, and the programmatic considerations that would support this screening approach.