There is no cure for HPV though in most cases, genital warts will eventually go away on their own. How long genital warts last varies from person to person. In some cases, warts go away after a few months. Other times, the warts may disappear but HPV still remains in the body and warts may return. In general, however, warts and HPV are cleared from the body within two years.
What Are Symptoms of Genital Warts?
HPV (human papillomavirus), the virus that causes genital warts, often doesn’t cause any symptoms and the virus goes away on its own.
What Do HPV Genital Warts Look Like?
When genital warts occur, symptoms include:
- Small bump or group of bumps in the genital area
- May be large or small, flat or raised, or shaped like a cauliflower
- Can be skin-colored or pink
- Burning, itching, or tenderness in the genital area may occur (less common)
How Are Genital Warts Diagnosed?
- Genital warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) can be diagnosed with a physical examination, but there is no specific test.
- If genital warts are suspected but the diagnosis is uncertain, a biopsy of the lesion may be taken to confirm diagnosis.
- There are HPV tests called Pap tests used for cervical cancer screening in women aged 30 years and older but these tests are not used to screen men, adolescents, or women under the age of 30 years.
What Is the Treatment for Genital Warts?
Treatments for genital warts include:
- Creams or liquids applied to the wart
- Surgical treatment
- Cryotherapy to freeze the wart
- Electrocautery which uses electrical energy to burn away warts
- Lasers to destroy warts
- Removal of the wart (excision)
How Do You Prevent Genital Warts?
To reduce the risk of getting human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts: