Seeking treatment for genital warts is important, even if they appear to go away, this may not be the case and early treatment reduces the likelihood of return.
Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection, which can appear in the anal or genital area, including the penile shaft, or scrotum. They are caused by strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
The terms venereal warts, or condylomata acuminata normally refer to the same condition, which shows in varying ways. One, or two small warts can become visible, or far more and they could continue to grow into quite large masses.
Itching, redness, discomfort, occasionally bleeding can be part of infection, although the psychological distress may be as significant.
Diagnosis & Treatment
As you see below, genital warts do vary in appearance but an experienced dermatologist will normally be able to diagnose them visually.
There can be a need for biopsy, perhaps if a patient is immunocompromised, or the lesions are especially pigmented, or ulcerated but this is uncommon. In most cases, a personal treatment program can follow diagnosis.
Topical treatment is a possibility, which can stimulate your immune system to attack the warts. One downside of this is the time taken to work and the approach will not always be successful, removal (ablation) may be a better option.
Cryotherapy (freezing) is one way, or physical surgery, although the latest C02 laser surgery is the choice of many patients and their consultants. A proven approach which works quickly, is more or less pain free and cosmetically sound.
Any pain, or itching from the genital warts is relieved, there is minimal inconvenience following treatment, a full return to normal takes a week or so.
Care At Our London Clinic
Genital warts are not a condition to be ashamed of, they can happen to anyone. The key is to offer confidential, thoughtful medical care and the best prognosis.
Whilst there is effective immunisation against HPV, this does not work in retrospect. The virus can remain in your system after treatment, possibly emerge again in a physical sense some years later.
There is still good evidence that apart from lowering the risk of spreading the virus, the likelihood of a total cure is higher with fewer warts and early treatment.
Genital warts are often the only identifiable symptoms of HPV infection, they are letting you know they need attention, rather than delay and increased risk. Personal advice on the future can also help with such a concerning condition.
By all means contact us for any advice we can offer, or to arrange an appointment with a consultant experienced in male dermatology conditions.