Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). At Eternal Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologist is a genital wart specialist serving Columbia MD and surrounding areas. We offer private, compassionate treatment to help you feel healthy and confident again. Call the office or schedule your appointment online today.
Genital warts initially appear as small, flat bumps on or around the genital area. They tend to occur at specific areas around the outside of a woman’s vagina or a man’s penis, though they can also appear internally in women. In some cases, genital warts can be painful or may enlarge and spread very quickly.
While most genital warts are generally not dangerous, some types of HPV may lead to cancer. If you don’t use STD protection like condoms during sexual intercourse, you can spread an HPV infection to sexual partners.
As genital warts from HPV can spread through sexual contact — including vaginal, oral, and anal sex — it’s best to get tested and treated before any sexual encounters.
If you suspect that a lesion in your genital area is a wart, visit Eternal Dermatology for an exam. During your exam, we look at the skin and tissue surrounding your genital region and assesses for signs of infection, inflammation or pain.
Dr. Rodney may collect a small sample of tissue to test for the presence of HPV or other STDs, if appropriate. She may also take a tissue biopsy if your lesion is an abnormal color or shape, or if it’s bleeding or producing pus.
Treatment for genital warts will help the warts clear up and go away, though they may still return since wart treatment doesn’t cure an HPV infection. If you wish to receive treatment for genital warts for cosmetic or personal reasons, Dr. Rodney provides appropriate options for you.
Your treatment options depend on the size, location, and number of genital warts present. Dr. Rodney offers two general treatment choices: provider-applied treatments and patient-applied topical products.
Provider-applied treatments include cryotherapy, topical medications, surgical removal or pharmaceutical products. Patient-applied treatments involve an application of topical medications to the warts and must be used as directed for best results.
In most cases, genital warts clear up within three months when using topical treatments. Cryotherapy or surgical treatments typically show results immediately or within 2 weeks. You must follow all of Dr. Rodney’s recommendations to see results and avoid potential side effects from treatment.