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Does HPV Show Up Right Away: Signs and Symptoms

Does HPV Show Up Right Away: Signs and Symptoms

Does HPV show up right away? What is HPV? The Human Papillomavirus is one of the most common and dangerous sexually transmitted diseases to this date, HPV is one of the more complicated types of STDs as it has up to 200 types of itself, with more than 40 types that affect the genital areas or the mouth and throat.

Whether or not HPV shows up right away depends on the actual latency of the HPV case. This differs between patients.

Some HPV types, such as Type 6 and 11, cause a majority of cases that are related to genital warts. Generally, they are primarily low-risk HPV types. Though they can still lead to discomfort and problems and cause problems for a patient’s social and private life.

More dangerous types of HPV, ranging in the dozens, may lead to cancer. Specifically, the most prominent of these types are HPV types 16 and 18. They are also classified as high-risk HPV types.

Does HPV Show Up Right Away?

Due to the fact that HPV is easily contracted via skin-to-skin contact with another infected person, it, at some times, may be difficult to detect as it may be hard to pinpoint who gave you HPV and when it occurred. As such, to answer the question: “Does HPV show up right away?” HPV latency has a wide range – from weeks to months, and sometimes, years after the exposure of HPV. After these periods, only then will symptoms and effects begin to appear.

Testing for HPV may be done via a pap smear, which tests for cervical cancer and HPV, at the same time. As of now, there are currently no approved HPV tests for men, which creat certain implications. To combat this, males have to rely on preventive measures and to steadily monitor the onset of symptoms, if any.

Signs and Symptoms of HPV

In a majority of cases, the body’s immune system is more than capable of combating an HPV infection before it develops to a stage wherein the occurrence of warts is probable. When warts do appear, their appearance and effects depend on the type of HPV affecting the patient.

In general, there are several types of warts that may be identified, each having different effects on the body and indicating different types or stages of the Human Papillomavirus.

Common Warts

Common warts appear as rough, raised, and coarse bumps that usually appear on a patient’s hands, fingers, or limbs. In the majority of cases, common warts are nothing to worry about. However, there are cases wherein patients report common warts causing pain. These are also susceptible to injury and bleeding.

Genital Warts

Usually seen as flat lesions, genital warts also appear as small, cauliflower-ish lesions or protrusions that appear in areas depending on the HPV itself and the patient’s sex. For women, these warts usually appear on or near the vulva, and sometimes, the anus. For males, genital warts can appear on the penis, on or around the scrotum, and on or around the anus as well. Genital warts only cause itching, and at times may feel tender to the touch. But these do not pose any significant danger.

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts, in comparison to the other aforementioned warts, are hard, grainy, and irregular growths that appear on the heels and the balls of the feet. These are known to cause discomfort, especially when walking or running.

Flat Warts

Flat warts refer to HPV warts that are slightly raised and flat-topped. These warts can appear anywhere on the body, but are more common on the face and the beard area of men. These may also appear anywhere between the legs for women.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, HPV, simply put, is a generally harmless condition wherein the body’s immune system is able to fight off the infection. However, when left untreated, HPV can cause a series of symptoms such as warts, and may even lead to cancer in some cases.

Hence, it is important to have yourself vaccinated for HPV when possible and to be in touch with your doctor if you suspect having contracted any STD.

Learn more about HPV here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Genital HPV Infection – Fact sheet
Accessed January 16, 2021

HPV Infection
Accessed January 16, 2021

Accessed January 16, 2021

Human Papillomavirus
Accessed January 16, 2021

Human Papillomavirus: Clinical Manifestations and Prevention
Accessed January 16, 2021

Human Papillomavirus: Viral Infections
Accessed January 16, 2021

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Medical reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Amable Aguiluz
Updated Feb 18