Can Genital Warts Spread to Other Areas of The Body?

Can Genital Warts Spread to Other Areas of The Body?

Jan 19
Can Genital Warts Spread to Other Areas of The Body?

Genital warts are warts that occur on the genital area such as the penis, vagina, or anus. This is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Genital warts are usually small, flesh-colored and painless. But, they can cause itching, swelling and discomfort in or around the genitals. Genital warts are not life-threatening and can be treated with medication or surgery. But for many women, genital warts are especially dangerous as they can cause cancers.

Besides, genital warts are highly contagious. Directly touching a wart or having sex with someone who has a wart can lead to transmission. You can remove genital warts, but the virus still remains in your body. And very often, after the treatment, genital warts still come back. These new warts can occur in the same place as the old ones. They can also grow in other areas of the body including the non-genitals. How are genital warts passed from one person to another? Can a wart growing on the face spread to the hands and feet? This article will help you find the answers.

How are genital warts contagious?

Genital warts are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 different types of HPV, and only very few of them can lead to warts. Thus, not all people contracting this virus will develop genital warts. And, whether you have visible warts or not, the HPV infection is still contagious. In some cases, the virus lies dormant for months and even years before warts appear. That’s why many people spread HPV to others with knowing it.

If you have sex with an infected person, you can pick up the virus, too. You can also have genital warts on your mouth if you perform oral sex on someone who has genital warts. Plus, genital warts may occur on the lips, throat and tongue called oral STDs. Know more: Oral STDs- What Should You Know about Them

genital warts spread to other parts of the body

Apart from genital warts, HPV can also cause warts in other areas of the body. For example, warts that appear on the soles of the feet are called plantar warts. Warts that occur on the face, arms and back are flat warts. And, common warts are warts that show up anywhere on the body. Know more: 8 Types of Warts That You Should Know about

Like other types of warts, genital warts can go away on their own. If they do not clear themselves, surgery like burning, freezing and excision can help. But due to their location, removing genital warts by surgery can be very painful. To treat genital warts, doctors recommend you to use a topical cream called Vidarox. Most people with genital warts apply this cream 3 times daily and get results after 5 days. Other topical creams that can be effective are Imiquimod and Trichloroacetic acid.

Related: How to Prevent the Spread of Genital Warts

Amazing facts about HPV

HPV is a virus that mostly causes warts in the human skin. Moreover, it can affect other organisms like plant, animal and bacterium. HPV can also grow on various types of objects. But, the skin surface is the most commonly affected part of the human body. Here is how the virus spread from a person to another person.

  • Walking barefoot in public areas
  • Touching or scratching your own warts
  • Having direct skin contact with someone who has warts
  • Sharing personal items with an infected person

Shaving off warts can spread the virus, leading to clusters of warts on the skin.

clusters of genital warts

Common factors that can increase your risk of HPV infections are:

  • Smoking
  • Weakened immune system
  • Multiple sex partners
  • Having unprotected sex

If you think you may have an HPV infection, speak to your doctor immediately. He/she may check your symptoms and ask about your sexual activity. Some common tests to diagnose HPV infections are:

  • A sample of your warts
  • An acetic acid test
  • A Pap smear

Related: 17 Things You Need To Know About HPV

Can genital warts spread to other areas of the body?

Warts can come up anywhere on the body. But, warts growing on the fingers and hands are the most common type. If you use the hand to touch other areas of your body, the spread of warts will occur. So, remove them immediately before they spread to other areas of the body.

Genital warts growing on the genital area often called HPV warts. Factors that can put you at risk of genital warts may include:

  • Having sex at an early age
  • Having unprotected sex
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Having sex with someone who has multiple sexual partners

having unprotected sex makes warts spread

If you have genital warts, you will get the following signs and symptoms.

  • Bumps on the genitals
  • Genital discharge
  • Pain during urinating
  • Pain or bleeding after sex

Consult your doctor if you suspect that you have genital warts.

How to avoid the spread of HPV and warts

Warts, especially genital warts can return after initial treatment. Even after you get rid of warts, you can still the virus. To prevent the spread of HPV and warts, the following tips can be useful.

  • Get the HPV vaccine
  • Get regular Pap smears
  • Always cover your warts with bandage
  • Don’t touch or scratch your warts
  • After touching a wart, wash your hands immediately
  • Avoid biting your nails to
  • Avoid having sex while you are being treated for warts
  • Use condoms during sexual intercourse
  • Boost your immune system

Related: Boost Your Immune System to Fight HPV

avoid spreading genital warts

In short, genital warts can spread to other areas of the body. If you have a wart on your body, get it treated immediately. Plus, avoid bad habits, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet to fight off HPV naturally.


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