HPV and warts – you need to know!

According to statistics, more than 80% of people are infected with the human papillomavirus. If the immune system weakens, the disease manifests itself with various symptoms. HPV and condylomas are usually concomitant with each other, however, there are situations where, when the growths appeared, the virus test was negative.

Such formations are nipple growths on the epidermis, usually with an inflammatory process. Most often, people have genital warts, which are easily confused with pearly papules. The former are notable for their heterogeneous sizes and the presence of a thin leg.

What are condylomas? Types of entities

Genital warts, also called typical, most often affect the genitals and the anus. In appearance, they are similar to cauliflower. In addition to this, the most common type, there are three more groups:

  • Papular type. It features a smooth surface;
  • Flat. It develops under the skin, often for a long time it goes unnoticed, since it does not rise above the epithelium. It is even more difficult to notice a disease localized on the cervix. In this case, it is flat condylomas that most often degenerate into malignant formations;
  • Hyperkeratotic type. Such growths are superimposed on each other, prone to keratinization. Usually spread on the foreskin, penis and scrotum, in women they are found on the labia majora.


Allocate so-called wide condylomas. By their appearance, syphilis, namely its secondary period, can be suspected. Due to the wide stalk, this type resembles a mushroom in shape. Regardless of the classification, if the formation appears on the surface of the skin, it is often confused with warts.

Only a qualified doctor can distinguish the types of growths after carrying out the necessary tests. Although the formations may have some external differences, condylomas in the early stages are very similar to the most common warts. As a rule, the differences lie in the localization of growths and their behavior.

Human papillomavirus

HPV is a member of the papovirus family that survives easily in the environment and is not affected by high temperatures. It does not have a viral envelope, a supercapsid, however it is protected by an outer envelope, a capsid. Despite the slow reproduction, the pathogen poses a great danger, since it is not found in the blood.

After entering the human body through the bloodstream, the virus reaches the skin cells, where it becomes part of their DNA. Infected cells develop much more intensively than healthy ones, which is why tumors form in the form of condylomas. The disease affects non-keratinizing and keratinizing mucous membranes and skin.

More than a hundred strains of the virus are known. 35 of them can lead to diseases of the mucous membranes and epithelium. Strains, the most frequently causing clinical symptoms in the intimate area – 6/11. Fortunately, they belong to the group of low oncogenic risk, that is, the chance of degeneration of benign tissues into malignant is very small.


Please note – viruses 16 and 18 are highly oncogenous.

The disease is transmitted through sexual, contact-household and vertical routes. Despite the fact that you can get infected through the use of the same objects with the carrier, most often infection occurs due to sexual contact. However, the disease can be asymptomatic, self-healing occurs in 30% of cases.

Are condylomas possible without HPV?

Condylomatosis is considered to be a consequence of the ingestion of the human papillomavirus, at least if it is a genital type. However, on the forums, many men and women discuss a negative HPV test, but there are condylomas. One possible explanation for this situation is a violation of the rules for sampling material for analysis.

In order for the examination to detect the presence of a pathogen, the DNA of the virus must be sufficient in the biopsy. If the employee of the medical institution incorrectly took the tissue, then a negative result will be obtained. Thus, if HPV is not found in the patient, but there are condylomas, it is necessary to undergo a re-examination, it is better to have another doctor.

HPV and warts - you need to know!
Photo condylomas

However, this is not the only possibility. People often confuse condylomas with formations of a different kind. Some sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, can cause growths similar to them. In this case, growths usually appear in the inguinal-femoral fold, around the anus or in the intergluteal region. According to external data, it is almost impossible to distinguish condylomas caused by HPV and the formation that appeared due to syphilis.

What causes formations similar to condylomas?

If a person noticed formations resembling condylomas, but at the same time an analysis on HPV gave a negative result, then this can be caused by contagious mollusk. In this case, the disease manifests itself in a large number of dense, rounded rashes of a pinkish color.

After defloration, the pleura in women remains inside the vagina. Over time, it grows together with the mucosa, which leads to the formation of small conical papillae. Since they are located at the entrance to the vagina, some confuse them with genital warts. In fact, this is the norm and does not require treatment.

Similarly, the situation with micropapillomatosis. Although the name of this condition is similar to condylomatosis, the first is considered a cosmetic defect that occurs in 5% of the fair sex.

Men usually notice something similar to condylomas in themselves (under conditions of a negative HPV test) if a papular necklace appears on the head of the penis. It also belongs to the number of normal cosmetic defects. At the moment, it is not known what exactly can cause such a rash.

HPV analysis

Correct diagnosis of the disease is critical for its further treatment. If the doctor found that the patient develops specifically warts, he must conduct appropriate tests and identify the human papillomavirus. For this, various methods are used, including:

  • Blood analysis;
  • Polymerase chain reaction;
  • Quantitative method;
  • Cytological smear;
  • Digen test.

Blood sampling for analysis

For PCR, the healthcare provider takes a tissue sample from the urethra or vagina, depending on the gender of the patient. The polymerase chain reaction allows you to find the virus itself, to clarify its type and probability of malignant degeneration. The cytological smear does not essentially differ from PCR, but is much less effective, since it reveals only large accumulations of the pathogen.

The quantitative method is aimed directly at identifying the degree of oncogenicity of the strain. The most complete information about HPV can be obtained through the Digen test, which is one of the most modern methods of examination. For its use, scraping from the male urethra or female cervical canal is used. If a biopsy of suspicious tissues has been previously performed, this material is also suitable for the digen test.

Preparation and fence

The easiest way to prepare for tissue sampling is for male patients. The material is taken from the urethra, so patients should not empty the bladder for about two hours before the procedure. Training women takes much longer.


Regardless of gender, the patient should not be washed before the fence.

Three days before the procedure, the fair sex should stop using antibacterial agents in contact with the intimate area. It is necessary to abandon the appropriate medications. It does not hurt to refrain from sexual intercourse, drinking alcohol, taking antiviral drugs and conducting medical procedures that affect the genitals.

Tissue collection occurs using a cervical or cytological brush. The resulting material is applied to glass and examined using a microscope. If it was decided to examine condylomas by biopsy, then a special needle will be used to collect the material.

How to treat HPV?

After infection, the virus can no longer completely disappear from the body. Therefore, the treatment of the disease boils down to two main areas – general therapy and removal of genital warts. By strengthening the immune system and the use of medications, it is possible to drive the pathology into a latent state in which the symptoms stop.

A small amount of genital warts is treated with local drugs, such as Viferon ointment, if the disease develops no longer than a year. It is treated with growths about four times a day, use is stopped after a month. Aldara cream is suitable for applying to the skin of the external genital organs, but has a wide range of side effects and high cost.

Other famous medicines:

  • Podophyllotoxin;
  • Epigen-sex;
  • Imiquimod;
  • Condilinus.

Epigen Intimacy

Along the way, with the use of such drugs, it will be necessary to improve the state of the immune system. For this, doctors often prescribe pills like Isoprinosine, Lycopide and Acyclovir. Sometimes worries about immunity are enough to make small warts go away.

Removal of formations and prevention

Removal of genital warts is largely aimed at reducing the likelihood of transmission of the virus to a sexual partner. It also makes it possible to reduce the pathogenic load. Modern medicine offers the following methods for removing genital warts:

  • Standard surgical procedure;
  • Liquid nitrogen;
  • Exposure to radio waves;
  • Chemical solution;
  • Electric shock;
  • With a laser.

Given the number of options, electrocoagulation (cauterization by current) and excision with a scalpel have become less common. Usually, laser removal is preferred. This is a safe procedure that has virtually no contraindications. The laser acts directly on the formation, and therefore the risk of scarring is minimal.Laser system for removal of genital warts

Chemical solutions are a traditional method that is not suitable for everyone. For example, it is prohibited for pregnant women. The method involves the treatment of growths with drugs that lead to necrosis of pathological tissues. Cryotherapy has a similar effect, only liquid nitrogen is used instead of solutions.

Prevention of the development of genital warts and infection with the human papillomavirus reduces to the likelihood of contact with the pathogen. This means that you need to carefully choose sexual partners, visit only those pools where sanitary standards are observed, and also have personal bedding, towels and linen. There is a vaccine against HPV, but it does not guarantee protection against all strains.

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