What are genital warts?

Skin warts are verrucous skin lesions which can spread all through the body. When warts appear at genitalia, these skin lesions are genital warts. Wart are basically viral infections of the skin. The virus which causes wart in the body is called human papilloma virus which is commonly abbreviated as HPV.

There are several subtypes of HPV virus, certain subtypes are known for their tropism toward skin infection at the genitalia, while certain other types produce wat at hands, feet or face. Having some skin lesion is not a problem, is it? Even if you are not kind of person who looks into the mirror and check every single part of the body, these verrucous lesions are not beautiful.

However, this is not the cosmetic part of the wart that has caused notion. Genital warts associated with HPV subtypes 16,18,31,33 and 35 have been associated with cervical cancer of uterus in women. The association is strong enough that general screening programs recommend for HPV infection diagnosis as part of cervical cancer screening. The problem with HPV is that, it can be transmitted easily and men can be infected with the virus despite having no symptom at all.

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and is more common in patients with multiple sexual partners. There are local treatments to remove the wart with either surgery, cryoablation (freezing) or medications to get rid of skin warts. As with every STD, prevention is the key and following safe and regular use of barrier contraceptive methods would decrease the chance of disease spread.

Since the relation between HPC infection and cervical cancer development is well understood, all women under 26 regardless of their sexual activity status are encouraged to get the available vaccine for HPV. The vaccine does not cover every available subtypes of the HPV, but has been made to cover the carcinogen subtypes. Not all verrucous lesion in the genitalia is a wart. Condyloma lata is a lesion which appears as warty structures over the genitalia, but the causative agent is syphilis.

Whatever the cause is, if you have got a warty lesion over your private parts, it is wise to seek a doctor.