Symptoms of Venereal Warts
Some people do not develop any symptoms of venereal warts and, therefore, may not realize they are infected with HPV. When symptoms do appear, they usually look like soft, moist, pink, or flesh-colored swellings. The warts may even combine to form a large cauliflower-shaped mass. Other venereal warts symptoms may include pain, discomfort, burning, and itching.
Symptoms of Venereal Warts: An Overview
Genital HPV infections (HPV stands for human papillomavirus -- the virus responsible for venereal warts) are the most common type of sexually transmitted disease (STD). Yet, most people who have a genital HPV infection do not know they are infected. The virus lives in the skin or mucous membranes and usually causes no symptoms. However, some people will develop symptoms, and venereal warts are the most common.
Specific Symptoms of Venereal Warts
Venereal warts (known medically as condyloma acuminata or genital warts) usually appear as numerous soft, moist, pink, or flesh-colored swellings, typically in the genital area. They may be raised or flat, small or large. They may even combine to form a large cauliflower-shaped mass.
Less commonly, venereal warts may appear as red- or brown-colored, smooth, slightly raised bumps. This type is most often seen in young, sexually active people.
Venereal warts can appear in many places, including:
- On the vulva
- In or around the vagina or anus
- On the cervix
- On the penis, scrotum, groin, or thigh.
After sexual contact with an infected person, warts may appear within weeks or months, or not at all.
Venereal warts spread rapidly over moist areas, which means it is common for them to appear on both sides of the vulva or anus. It is possible for venereal warts to also spread inside of the urethra or rectum.
Other venereal warts symptoms may include:
Venereal warts are typically diagnosed by visual inspection. Visible warts can be removed by medications you apply or by treatments performed by your healthcare provider. Some individuals choose to forego treatment to see if the warts will disappear on their own. No treatment regimen for venereal warts is better than another, and no one treatment plan is ideal for all cases.
(Click Treatment of Venereal Warts for more information.)