CONDYLOMA ACUMINATA (Venereal warts)
This patient information and photograph on Condyloma Acuminata (Venereal Warts) is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
WHAT IS IT? Condyloma Acuminata is a type of venereal wart that commonly grows in the
genital region. It is considered the most common sexually transmitted disease. It can occur at any age, but it is most frequently seen in adults. There may be one to several of these warts.
WHAT CAUSES IT? This is a sexually transmitted disease. The wart is caused by a virus (Human papilloma virus, HPV) which infects the skin. It is usually spread by skin to skin contact during sexual intercourse. Many times the infected person's sexual partner will also have these warts. I would recommend that you have your sexual partner(s) examined by a physician for the presence of these warts.
IS IT DANGEROUS? Venereal warts have been linked to the development of some forms of cancer, especially cervical cancer. The degree of risk is currently not known. Because of the association I would recommend treatment of all these warts and follow up examinations. Women who have condyloma or who have had a sexual partner with condyloma should have a pap smear.
CAN IT BE CURED? Yes, but they can be very tough to treat, and they often require multiple treatment sessions. Recurrences and re-infections are very common. PingPonging back and forth between sexual partners is common if both are not treated at the same time.
WILL IT SPREAD? Without treatment these warts may continue to spread and grow.
IS IT CONTAGIOUS? Venereal warts are very contagious, most often spread by sexual intercourse. It is believed that two out of three individuals that have sexual contact with a partner with condyloma will get lesions within 3 months. If your sexual partner(s) is known to have venereal warts, protective measures need to be taken by the use of condoms and contraceptive foam or gel that contains Nonoxynol-9 until both you and your partner are free of warts.