ZocdocAnswersDoes HPV cause genital warts?

Question

Does HPV cause genital warts?

Is it true that if you have genital warts, they were probably caused by HPV? I know that HPV can give you cancer, so that's why I'm worried. Will treating the genital wart possibly remove the HPV?

Answer

Genital warts are indeed caused by the human papilloma virus, which is a highly contagious infection of the skin transmitted by contact with the infected areas. Genital warts look like irregular, painless, fleshy protrusions of the skin that sit on a wide base. Removing the warts that you have will not completely eradicate the virus from your body. There are several different strains of the human papilloma virus. The strains of the virus that are most closely associated with wart formation have a lower risk of cancer, but there are other strains of the virus that are more closely associated with cancer of the cervix and of the anus. As there is no good way to tell visually whether the cervix or anus is infected, pap smears of these regions are routinely performed to screen for precancerous changes. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor might be advised.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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