ZocdocAnswersDo genital warts have hairs?

Question

Do genital warts have hairs?

What else could they be? A dermatologist that I went to briefly glanced down and immediately called for genital warts. However, they have only appeared after shaving the last about year or so and just about every single bump sprouts a hair. Could they be molluscum or sebaceous prominence? Something like those?

Answer

I agree with you that genital warts do not typically have hairs growing out of them, so this definitely makes a diagnosis of genital warts much less likely. Nonetheless, it is important that you speak with your doctor who can confirm a diagnosis. There are, however, several other conditions that could cause this. The fact that they appeared with shaving makes me think that you are most likely dealing with a minor infection of hair shafts in the region (called folliculitis) or with ingrown hairs. Both of these conditions are much more common in people who shave the pubic region, because of the irritation of the skin that the shaving produces. Your primary care doctor should be able to take a quick look and confirm whether or not this is what is going on. If these are ingrown hairs or infected hair follicles, the treatment is usually just good skin care and hygiene. It may also be necessary to stop shaving the area, which will almost certainly help. One other condition that you mention, molluscum, is not likely to be the cause, since this also should not have hairs growing out of it. Sebaceous prominence, also known as Fordyce spots, is a benign condition and could certainly be the cause. Your doctor will be able to confirm this with a physical exam.

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