Types of Genital Warts

Warts are a skin disease which can occur anywhere on the body though they all originate from the same type of virus. For example, warts found in the foot are termed as plantar warts, while warts found in the genital area are termed as genital warts. Warts located in one area of the body cannot spread to the other parts.

How Do Warts Look?

Warts are recognized by a scaly scab on top, which goes all the way down into the root of the capillary within the area. In some individuals, these warts appear as a single bump and in others these warts cluster together. At times, these warts are located under the skin itself and not visible to the naked eye. In some cases, the wart only looks like raised flesh which is white or grey coloured. Due to their different appearances, warts can often be misdiagnosed.

Types of Warts Based on Virus

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for warts. The virus itself is harmless, but it is very contagious. If you are unclear if you have been infected then order our HPV Home Test Kit.

The virus has more than one hundred different strains. Out of the hundred types, thirty viruses alone are responsible for causing warts in the genital area. Strain 6 and strain 11 of human papillomavirus are responsible for more than 90% of genital wart cases. Genital warts are also known as venereal warts, condylomata acumens or anogenital warts.

Types of Warts Based on Area in Women

Genital warts, as the name suggests, are found in the genital area of men and women. They are further categorized into different types on the basis of their location. In the case of women, the warts are classified as the following:

  1. Urethral warts: One out of twenty-five women with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate at the opening of the urethra in females.
  2. Cervical warts: One out of ten women with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate inside the vaginal region on the wall of the cervix.
  3. Anal warts: One out of four women with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate around or on the anus.
  4. Perineal warts: One out of three women with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate at the perineum, the area between the vagina and the anus of a female.
  5. Vaginal warts: One out of three women with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate inside the vagina on the vaginal walls.
  6. Vulvar warts: Two out of three women cases with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate at or near the vulva.

Types of Warts Based on Area in Men

Genital warts are not as common in men as they are in women. Yet, they can be classified into following subcategories on the basis of the location they appear in:

  1. Scrotal warts: One man out of one hundred cases with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate on or around the scrotal sac.
  2. Perineal warts: One man out of thirty cases with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate on or around the peritoneum between the scrotum and the anus.
  3. Foreskin warts: One man out of twelve cases with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate inside the foreskin of the penis.
  4. Urethral warts: One man out of ten cases with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate inside the urethra.
  5. Penile warts: One man out of ten cases with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate on or around the penis.
  6. Anal warts: One man out of three cases with genital warts will contract this type of genital wart. These warts originate on or around the anus.

How Do You Spot a Wart?

Warts are visible to the naked eye six months after contracting the infection. The area begins as a pinkish or reddish swelling, which is soft to touch. Soon after, the soft swelling turns into a hard scaly bump under the skin. The best way to recognize the wart is that the scaly part of the bump does not hurt, but pressing the skin around it aches badly. Many warts resemble cauliflower stalks with tiny blackheads. The blackheads are actually infected capillaries with impure blood supply. These stalks penetrate deep into the skin. Doctors often have to cut through at least 5mm under the skin in order to extract the roots of warts out.

What is the Difference Between HPV (Warts) and HSV (Herpes)?

Both diseases are genital in nature, and both diseases are classified as common sexually transmitted diseases. Herpes is trickier to diagnose, as it can often lay dormant inside the body for years. Genital warts, on the other hand, surface in one way or another, making it easier to catch. It is necessary to seek treatment out in both cases, as the complexities of these diseases are severe.

Treatment Depending on Warts Type

Some warts are easier to access, such as warts growing outside the skin. These warts can be treated with topical treatment options such as cryotherapy (freezing the wart so that it falls off), cutting through it or electrolysis (burning the wart entirely). In cases where the wart is growing inside the skin (such as foreskin wart or cervical wart), a more sophisticated treatment approach is needed, such as antiviral treatment, medication and a healthy diet.

Warts should be treated immediately, as some, such as cervical warts, can eventually cause cervical cancer if left untreated. If you suspect you might have a genital wart, contact a health professional immediately.

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