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Genital Warts (HPV)

Our Austin urologists treat genital warts

Genital warts can be an embarrassing condition faced by both men and women.  Most warts are painless lumps on the skin of the penis, scrotum, vaginal labia or lower groin area.  They can also be present around the anus.

Genital warts may appear as single growths or clump together and can occasionally cause genital itching, but are generally without pain or other symptoms.  Signs such as pain, bleeding, nodules under the skin or urinary discharge are associated with other conditions that need to be evaluated immediately.

Classic genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).  HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and the condition can be transmitted whether warts are present or not.  HPV infection in women has been associated with cervical cancer and men with genital warts should inform their partners and assure that they are receiving regular gynecologic examinations.

There can be other abnormal growths on the genitals and all should be seen by a medical professional to exclude cancer.

Diagnosis of genital warts

Diagnosis of genital warts can be made with a physical examination, but confirmation may require a biopsy of one of the growths. They may appear as raised, reddish bumps on the genitals, anus or surrounding skin and are often described as being cauliflower-like.

Genital warts are frequently seen with other venereal diseases and we routinely perform testing for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes Simplex Virus, HIV and syphilis.

Penile or vaginal cancer is also associated with HPV infections and some patients who think they have genital warts will actually have penile cancer.

Treatment for genital warts includes oral antiviral medications and a number of procedures to remove warts from the skin, such as freezing, laser therapy, and surgery. Topical creams, such as Condylox and Aldara, can be used for patients having recurrent or multiple lesions.

There is no cure for HPV infection or genital warts.  Treatment is aimed at removing the lesions that can be seen.

If you have genital warts, visit one of our Austin urologists for diagnosis and treatment.