Not all genital warts are visible to the naked eye. Some may be tiny and are of similar color to one’s skin, or a bit darker. Their tops may feel smooth or slightly bumpy to the touch.Other warts appear on the lips, mouth, tongue and/or throat.
Warts can occur singly or in clusters of pink or flesh-colored growth.
What are the Symptoms of Genital Warts?
You should watch out for:
- Burning sensation
- Vaginal discharge
If not treated promptly, genital warts can increase in size or coverage area and cause discomfort and pain. This makes it important to know how to remove genital warts.
What Causes Genital Warts?
The most frequent cause of genital warts is HPV. Thirty to 40 strains of HPV affect the genitals, but only a few of them actually lead to genital warts.
Skin-to-skin contact makes the HPV virus highly contagious. This is why genital warts is considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
The virus is so common, the Center for Disease Control Prevention in the US reports that most sexually active people will get the infection. A 2019 report says that over 22% of the US population has been infected by HPV.
In the Philippines, Dr. Grace Carole Beltran, an STD (sexually transmitted disease) specialist estimates that four out of five women may have been exposed or infected by HPV.
A study conducted in 2017 showed that over 60% of cases were from recent tests, adding to the high resource cost of health care for genital warts.
The HPV strains behind genital warts are not the same as those that cause warts on your hands or other body parts. A wart doesn’t spread from the hands to the genitals and vice-versa.
What are the Risk Factors for Genital Warts?
Although the sexually active are more prone to HPV, certain types of people are just as vulnerable to the infection. These are: