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Genital Warts

Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts. There are more than 40 strains of HPV that affect the genital area. Genital warts are one of the most common types of sexually transmitted infections. They usually affect the moist tissues of the genital area. They appear as small bumps. In most cases, the warts are too small to be visible. Some strains of genital HPV can cause genital warts, while others can cause cancer. Vaccines can help prevent certain strains of genital HPV.Diagnosis
Genital warts are mostly diagnosed by their appearance. However, sometimes a biopsy may be necessary and sent for testing.Women should have regular pelvic exams and Pap smears, which can help detect vaginal and cervical changes caused by genital warts or early signs of cervical cancer.

In women, genital warts may appear on the vulva, the walls of the vagina, the area between the external genitalia and the anus, and the cervix.In men, they usually appear on the tip or shaft of the penis, scrotum and/or anus.

Signs and symptoms of genital warts may include:

  • Small, brown or pink swelling in the genital area.
  • A cauliflower-like shape caused by several warts in close proximity to each other
  • Itching or discomfort in the genital area
  • Bleeding during sexual intercourse

In Argentina, routine vaccination against human papillomavirus is recommended for girls and boys starting at 11 years of age. Two doses of HPV vaccine are given at least six months apart.  Ideally, the vaccine should be received before sexual contact. Side effects of the vaccines are generally mild and include soreness at the injection site, headaches, low-grade fever or flu-like symptoms.

Here is a link with information on the steps to follow in Argentina: the warts do not cause discomfort to the patient, they may not need treatment. If, on the other hand, symptoms such as itching, burning and/or pain are present, or concern about the spread of the infection is unsettling, an outbreak can be eliminated with medication, treatment or surgery.


The most common treatments for genital warts that can be applied directly to the skin include the following:

– Imiquimod cream. Avoid sexual contact while the cream is on your skin. A possible side effect is reddening of the skin. Other side effects may include blistering, body aches or pains, coughing, rashes and fatigue.

– Trichloroacetic acid. This chemical treatment burns genital warts and can be used for internal warts. Side effects may include mild skin irritation, sores or pain.


  • Freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy).
  • Electrocautery.
  • surgical excision
  • laser treatments