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Home Personal Perspectives Personal Perspectives Dealing with Genital Warts

Dealing with Genital Warts

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From a visitor to ASHA’s HPV Message Board. Join the conversation online: ASHA's Message Board.

Here goes nothing... I'm a 25 year old male diagnosed with genital warts last fall. I, to put it bluntly, was shocked. I was uncircumcised, and the warts were small tabs of skin that formed a circle on the foreskin itself. After consulting with my general health physician and a urologist, I was advised the best course of action would be a circumcision. I underwent the procedure (And yeah, I totally understand why they do it to babies now) and presto-chango, no more warts.

I've had no more warts since then, taking a daily multivitamin and just trying to be healthy. However, recently I noticed three small bumps along the line of scar tissue where my foreskin had been removed. Given that they look nothing like the previous warts I had, I didn’t know if they're more of the same or something different. I went to the urologist today, and apparently the new small flaps could either be skin flaps due to the healing from the circumcision...or new warts. I got a prescription for Condylox, in a gel form, and I'm supposed to use it for 4 weeks before I go back to see the doctor again.

I guess my main question would be related to that -- once you get them, do genital warts always look the same? I had Planter's Warts on my feet as a child, and they always looked the same. Would the appearance really change?

I'm dealing rather well, actually. It happened, and nothing I can do -- no hand-wringing, or self-beating, or whatever -- will allow me to go back in time and do something differently. In terms of "clearing the virus," my urologist said most people do so over time, usually in a matter of months. I'm a very pro-active person, and I believe that an individual can choose the make the best out of a situation or allow the situation to control them. In other words: you can let the river's current take you where it wants, or you can climb out and redirect that #%^&* to where you want it, LOL!

I have a girlfriend who I'm seriously considering marrying -- we've been open about it from the start, and since the types of HPV that cause warts are typically low-risk we're both just taking precautions. Condoms for sure, along with her regular check-ups. We both decided that we care too much about each other to let something small drive one of us away.

--Thanks for sharing your story. Warts can have a variety of appearances: large or small, flat or raised, skin color or somewhat whitish or reddish, rough or smooth in texture. There can be a single lesion, or multiple warts. A recurrence doesn't have to be identical in appearance to an initial episode. Recurrences aren't uncommon, especially in the first three months following treatment. The immune system usually clears the underlying HPV infection eventually, typically in 6-24 months. Healthy lifestyle stuff might include not smoking (a big thing with HPV) and, really, common sense in terms of rest, stress, diet, etc. What you'd do for general good health, really. Whatever you do, avoid the many "snake oil" cures for warts/HPV on the Internet. Not a single one of them should be taken seriously- ed.