Genital Warts On Penis
If you notice warts on your penis, you might have genital warts, a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease. Genital warts usually go away with time but you should not be having sex with another person if you have them, as they are extremely contagious.
It is therefore recommended to see a health professional to get a formal diagnosis and start your genital warts treatment as soon as possible.
What Are Genitals Warts?
Genital warts are highly contagious sexually transmitted disease (STD) that spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected sexual partner. Genital warts are not special male health problem as both sexes can get them.
Genital warts are soft growths on the skin in the genital area. Male genital warts can appear as warts on penis but also on the scrotum, urethra, upper thighs and anus. Genital warts can also develop in the mouth or throat if you have oral sex with an infected partner.
Warts on penis and other moist skin are usually soft and flesh-colored while warts on dry skin tend to be firmer. They can be clustered together and then may appear to have "cauliflower" shape.
The medical definition of genitals warts is according to Medilexicon:
"a contagious projecting warty growth on the external genitals or at the anus, consisting of fibrous overgrowths covered by thickened epithelium showing koilocytosis, due to sexual contact with infection by human papillomavirus; it is usually benign, although malignant change has been reported, associated with particular types of the virus" (Medilexicon)
Genital warts usually appear around 3 months after infection though in some cases it can take years for the warts to come noticeable.
Genital warts are also known as condyloma acuminate, venereal warts and HPV genital warts.
What Causes Genital Warts On Penis?
All warts are infection in the top layer of the skin, caused by virus in the human papilloma virus (HPV) family. There are over 100 unique types of HPV and small numbers of them cause genital warts (HPV types 6 and 11 cause the majority of genital warts). Early genital warts are the most easily recognized symptom of genital HPV infection.
The HPV virus that causes genital warts is highly contagious, unlike the HPV virus that causes non-genital warts. It is estimated that that over 60% of those that have sex with infected person will become infected too.
Male Genital Warts Pictures
You should take all warts on penis / genital area seriously and have them treated as soon as possible. It is safest to get formal diagnosis from a health professional but the following examples of male genital warts photos may be useful to give you an idea of how warts on penis and the genital area can look like.
Early genital warts usually start as small soft spots but can quickly grow and multiply if left untreated as the below genital warts penis pictures clearly demonstrate.
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Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Please note: These photos are used with permission. Do not copy them from this website, seek reproduction license from the respective owners.
How To Prevent Getting Genital Warts?
The only sure way is to abstain from sex, which probably not what you have in mind. The risk of getting genital warts is however low if you are in a monogamous relationship with a non-infected partner (genital warts may though lay dormant for years).
Using condom when you have sex with a new partner, i.e. which sexual history you do not know, can also reduce the risk of getting genital warts. The virus can though still infect the skin uncovered by the condom so limiting the number of sexual partner is better bet.
HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is available. It is FDA approved in the USA for young males (9-26 years) for the prevention of male genital warts.
Why Do Something About Your Genital Warts?
Genital warts are unsightly and uncomfortable but they usually do not cause serious health risk for men. There is though small increased risk of getting genital cancers (penis or anal cancer) but these types of cancers are not common.
Genital warts are however highly contagious so if you are sexually active you should have them treated as soon as possible, i.e. to avoid infecting your sexual partner. In the meantime, you should abstain from sex, i.e. until the warts are gone or successfully treated.
HPV infection has been closely associated with cervical cancer and can affect women's health during pregnancy. Therefore, if you are sexually active you must do something about your genital warts.
There are number of ways to treat genital warts, including warts on penis. Treating early genital warts is usually easiest and least uncomfortable so if you suspect you might have genital warts, go and see a health professional and get a formal diagnosis.