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Video

Dr Christian:

We’ve had hundreds of comments on the Embarrassing Bodies website about genital warts. One of the main ones seems to be can you treat them yourself or do you have to go and see a doctor? I think the reason being that you’re embarrassed to see your doctor. The first thing to say to you is I really wouldn’t advise it. Do go and see your GP or your local sexual health clinic and get a proper diagnosis. The reason being they may not be genital warts, they may be something else and also you may have other infections along with them and it is important to get tested for these too.

Lots of you are asking what warts are, what causes them? Well, warts are caused by the Human Papilloma virus, it’s a virus of which there are 100’s of different types. Some cause hand and facial warts, other strains cause genital warts and some strains can cause changes to the cervix in women which can lead to cervical cancer. Genital warts, generally, are caused by skin to skin contact. Not necessarily just through sex but through close contact.

One of you has asked whether if you have a wart on your finger and you masturbate you could give yourself genital warts. Well, the warts strain that causes finger warts is very unlikely to also cause genital warts so the quick answer to your question is no.

A lot of you are asking how easy is the wart virus is to catch. Well, the answer is pretty easy. Warts themselves will shed the virus and you can pick it up that way, through skin to skin contact, but you should also know that people who don’t actually have warts but are infected with the virus can also pass it on. Close contact is the way usually that this happens, condoms you should use to try and prevent this.

One of you has written in saying that you’re confused because you’ve read that warts aren’t normally painful but yours are. It’s firstly important to say do go and get them properly diagnosed by your doctor, but the truth is warts can be extremely painful, they can be very itchy and if you fiddle with them or pick them they can bleed. All of those symptoms are quite normal for genital warts.

Somebody’s asked a very good question here, which is what happens to the wart virus after you’ve got rid of the warts. Well, in some cases your body will clear the virus completely from its system. In others the virus may persist and give you a re-occurrence of warts. Generally speaking, I think it’s safe to say, if you haven’t had a re-occurrence of warts and you haven’t had an outbreak in some time, then you’ve almost certainly cleared the virus from out of your body and you shouldn’t be infectious any longer.

Loads of you are asking here on the Embarrassing Bodies website what the best treatment for warts is. Well, the truth is there isn’t any one best treatment, there is a whole variety. Creams work by irritating the skin on the wart or by killing the virus. You can freeze them; burn them off or even laser will cut them off. They will all depend on the extent of your warts, how long you’ve had them for, how they’ve responded to other treatments and how large they are. So the important thing to remember it that most treatments won’t work the first time you use them, you’ll probably have to repeat the procedure again and again and again. Do be persistent and eventually you will get rid of them.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Genital Warts

Common, curable but usually avoidable, genital warts have been a constant source of discussion on the Embarrassing Bodies website. Dr Christian has taken your most commonly asked questions that you’ve posted on the site, and answered them with his usual frankness and expertise.

Most of the questions were posted on our genital warts condition guide.

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Comments and Questions

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I have a growth at the base of my penis and I don't think it's a genital wart, but I haven't had it looked at by the doctor. My girlfriend gets a pap smear every year and nothing has came back. Does that mean it's probably a skin tag? Is there any test the doctors can run to give me an answer besides just looking at it.





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Can you get rid of genital warts forever





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If you treat the genital warts and they do not come back, does that mean that you have completely gotten rid of the HPV virus, meaning that you aren't able to infect your sexual parnter any longer. In addittion, If yes, in the case that the virus could go away due to a strong fighting immune system, should you get the HPV vaccine so that you may not get it again?





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I have not any problem which can be seen but my Penis hurts I can feel its not alright I'm 24 still virgin and been masturbated since from early age because couldn't get any female I would like everyone to show a pic of their problem so we would take better look at each other problem and help pass this difficult situation thanks





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Hey i have recently found small flaps of skin growing at the base of my penis's shaft. i haven't had unprotected sex with someone for 9 months and don't know where they've come from. i have pulled some off as they are easy to remove and don't come back once removed. any ideas on what it could be ?





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Well about a week ago i had sexual intercourse with my girlfriend and the condom broke but didnt realise. Then a few days later i noticed a few small pimple like bumps appearing on my penis head. I was alarmed by this and have been stressing ever since, im 20 years old and only ever had sex with my girlfriend. Then a few days later, white head like pimples appeared on the tip and the majority generated on the left side of the tip. They are very small spots, Ive read nearly everything there is on hpv or whatever but the truth of the matter is i just dont know exactly what it is. I use condoms regularly but i have had unprotected sex before but reverted back to using condoms. Your guidance/advice would be much appreciated Thanks.





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About a month ago I got a small lump on my vagina, I went to the sexual health clinic and they told me I had genital warts. I had them frozen off and they tested my urine for other things, finding out I was pregnant. It's been 4-5 weeks since this and I've been going back every week to get wart treatment, however the ones on the inside of my vagina seem to be getting worse whilst the outside ones get better. It's worrying me and I don't want my vagina to look like a cabbage patch, it has it's affects on my sexual life between me and my partner and I don't quite know what to do now. Is it because I'm pregnant that it's taking so long to heal? When will they go? Will it have any affects on my pregnancy?





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I have just one long grow on my anus. Is this a wart?





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Hi for some time ive 2 the three small warts under my fore skin on my penis!can i treat these at home cause i dont want to go my local doctor,please any help or adivce wud be great thank you





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u can go to ur local sexual health or gum clinic then u don't have to see the gp and while ur there u can have all the other tests to check the person u caught the warts off didn't have anything else

I have genital warts quite a bad case is there anything I can do from home I went to my gp and he wouldn't help and told me to go to the Gum clinic I have been there but the nurse made me feel really bad about my self and I don't want to go through that again it's embarrassing enough. I want to have a baby but I've been putting it off for years because of this unsure what to do





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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