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Genital Warts (cont.)

Genital Warts Diagnosis

Diagnosis is often based on findings from the history and appearance of the genital warts.

  • Sometimes, lesions are only visible with an enhancing technique called acetowhitening. This technique involves the application of 5% acetic acid solution to the area of suspicion for about 5-10 minutes. Infected areas will turn white.
  • Magnification of the area (colposcopy) using a scope may be necessary to see the lesions. In females, a colposcope may be used to look for lesions in the vaginal canal and on the cervix.
  • A routine Pap smear should always be done in order to look for evidence of HPV infection and abnormal cells on the cervix.
  • A biopsy can be performed if the lesion appears unusual or recurs after treatment.
  • Special laboratory tests can also be used to confirm the presence of HPV infection.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/1/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Warts, Genital »

Until the 19th century, genital warts (GWs) were believed to be a form of syphilis or gonorrhea.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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