Genital Warts

How to identify them

Is condom enough protection?

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Dr. Christopher Tzermias

Dermatologist – Venereologist

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Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the treatment of genital warts here

1. What genital warts or condylomata acuminate are and how are they transmitted?

Condylomata acuminate or genital warts are lesions of the genital and perigenital area, transmitted through sexual contact (vaginal, anal, oral) which is why they are called sexually transmitted diseases. Transmission is also possible through overly-rigorous rubbing with contaminated fingers or contaminated objects (sex toys).

2. Why did I get it since condom was used?

The condom is only covering the area of the penis. So both the base of the penis and the area around the genitals (perigenital area) are unprotected. As a result, it can be transmitted very easily through sexual contact from one partner to the other.

3. I have genital warts. What should I do with my partner?

In case of genital warts’ diagnosis, the first thing you should do is to inform all people with whom you had sexual contact during the last eight months so that they are also examined by a dermatologist – venereologist. During treatment, your doctor will specify the time you should not have sexual contacts.

4. For how long will the lesions continue to appear?

The gradually more frequent appearance of lesions will continue unless analytical detection and complete treatment of all, even microscopic, lesions is performed. The method of treatment plays also a major role for the permanent elimination of the lesions, as well as constant effort for prompt and immediate treatment of possible “daughter” lesions, the development of which may have started before the removal of the initial lesions. Given that incubation time may last for up to eight months, constant self-examination as well as dermatological examination on a monthly basis are essential, to ensure that no lesion appears for this eight-month period.

5. Which method is used for the removal of genital warts?

There are many methods that may be used for the removal of genital warts. For more information on the methods of treatment click here.

6. What should I watch for while on treatment?

During the treatment period you should be really careful both with your sexual contacts and with the hair removal methods you use. In addition, you should follow really carefully the instructions of the attending dermatologist – venereologist. You may also read answer of question 4.

7. Do genital warts come back? Will I have them forever?

If the correct and effective treatment is applied and all above mentioned points are followed for a period of eight months, genital warts will be eliminated. The infection may persist, but the virus will not be permanently present. Recurrence may occur in case of great weakening of the organism’s defence system and in case of re-infection.

8. How often should re-examination be performed once treatment is over?

Following the initial elimination of lesion, extensive medical examination is recommended at 30-day intervals for eight consecutive months.

9. If I have genital warts, is there a chance I get cancer?

Genital warts are strains of low risk HPV, i.e. non-carcinogenic strains. Practically one cannot get cancer from genital warts. However, an extensive examination is recommended because high-risk strains of the virus may coexist with low-risk strains of HPV, which may cause cancer (e.g. cervical, anal).

10. Is scarring possible due to the lesions from genital warts?

No scarring appears when the method of sublimation is used for treatment, which is achieved painlessly, noninvasively, without incision and stitches, using an ultrapulse CO2 laser.

11. Are there any chances they are transmitted in another part of my body?

Genital warts can be transmitted in various parts of the body coming in contact, directly or indirectly, with existing foci of infection.

12. And the indicative cost for treatment?

The cost of treatment depends on the extent of the lesions and the method that will be followed by the dermatologist – venereologist.

13. Which is the safest hair removal method?

Many times shaving of the perigenital areas causes scratches, while waxing causes minor injuries, leading to the development of possible viral foci. LASER hair removal, on the other hand, is not considered as an aggravating factor if, of course, it is applied properly. It is still the safest hair removal method during the period after genital warts’ treatment. Keeping the perigenital area free from hair is also essential, so that to facilitate self-examination and the prompt localisation of lesions.

About the author

Dr. Christopher Tzermias

Dermatologist – Venereologist

tzermias.gr

Specialised in England (Oxford, London) and in North America (New York, San Diego) in LASER Dermatology and pioneer in the application of advanced LASER in Greece. He established the first and very well equipped inpatient departments of LASER Dermatology in Greece, in the Athens Medical Centre at Marousi, Athens, St. Luke's Clinic at Panorama, Thessaloniki and in the Interbalkan Medical Centre of Thessaloniki. He was the Director of Invasive and LASER Dermatology of the Athens Medical Centre for 18 years, from 1996 to 2014.

Accessible by appointment in his clinics in Kolonaki - 49, Vas. Sofias str. (210 72 42 600) and Marousi - 71, Kifisias Ave. (210 61 00 900).