This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding HPV issues such as: genital warts, causes, diagnosis, cervical cancer, HPV in men, PAP tests, treatment, telling your spouse or partner
First off, I'd like to thank anyone that contributes to this forum. It is a godsend for anyone that is faced with dealing with things that we come across as sexual beings.
Anyway, in the past 2-3 years, I've had unprotected sex with two partners. I'm fairly certain that I've been exposed to HPV2 as I have a pair of small "warts" that seem to match the description and pictures that I've seen. In reading through the various posts, it seems that HPV2 is something that is widely prevalent (although usually asymptomatic) and usually treated quite easily. I've seen lots questions about symptoms and treatments, but those addressing recurrence seem to be few. Much like chicken pox, do most people see HPV2 (in the form of warts) once and then never again?
So, I guess I'm wondering where I should go from here. Some suggest that just letting it "run its course" is perfectly acceptable (and just as effective as most treatments). However, I'd like to try and be a little more proactive with it. I've yet to actually visit the doctor, but the two little bumps I've got (almost like tiny colorless moles) seem to fit the descriptions I've read to a tee. How often are there skin variances that are mistaken for HPV2? How often are such things treated as HPV2 when, in actuality, they may be nothing of significance? The reason I ask is because, if the little spots I've got are NOT HPV2 (and I get them treated as such), I'll be going forward with some fairly significant misinformation. If my doctor confirms my suspicion that what I'm looking at is HPV2, should I start with some podofilox/Condylox cream? Go straight to the liquid nitrogen?
Needless to say, this whole idea is rather disheartening. I'm sure visiting the doc (which I will do tomorrow) is the first step. However, I'm hoping that someone may be able to offer some brief advice about where to go next. My main concern is for the long term. I'd like to find a long-term relationship at some point, and I'm wondering if this will throw a wrench in the mix. I guess the bright side is that, while not the easiest situation to deal with, HPV2 seems rather benign when compared to other STDs.
Welcome to the forum and im glad youre doing something proactive about your situation.
I would first like to ask you, what you mean by HPV2? There is no such thing as HPV2. Unless of course you mean HSV2 which is the herpes virus.
There are two forms of HPV, the low risk which cause genital warts and the high risk which cause precancerous lesions and may turn into cancer if left untreated for more than 5 years or so.
I take it that youre a guy? Usually guys dont have much to worry when they have a high risk HPV because its asymptomatic but that doesnt mean we cant transfer it to our partners through unprotected intercourse.
Some experts say that if you take care of your genital warts and they do not show up for 6 months or more then it is highly likely they will never return again or that you will be able to transmit the virus to anyone else.
HPV is tricky, from all the reading i have done about this it always comes down to some uncertain answer. There are people who have had one outbreak and never to get another again while there are people who have outbreak after outbreak.
Our immune system plays a central role in controlling the HPV. If your immune system recognizes the virus it will be able to take care of it. Like you mentioned, if the virus is like chicken-pox. Some say yes, but do not forget that in some people with any sort of immune system problem can get another outbreak of "chicken-pox" which are called shingles aka Herpes Zoster virus. Our body does indeed "cage" a virus but it will usually always be with us, in a dormant stage where it does not cause any outbreaks or be contagious. The same can be said about HPV. You see, some women get HPV outbreaks when they are pregnant, this is said because a womans immune system lowers during that state. So looking at that we can say that if our immune system is compromised or at a state where it is low then we "may" get an outbreak.
However, a lot of people say that warts are a transient infection which usually clear up in 8-24 months. In my case, i used a cream called "Aldara" which is a immune system modifier, wherever the cream is applied the immune system is triggered to attack that spot. Be careful as this cream may have some adverse effects on individuals and must be used in very small amounts.
HPV is a virus that goes to your basal cells and transmits a snippit of its DNA into your cells, these basal cells then produce abnormal amounts of skin growth which are called warts. So essentially all the warts are just excessive skin growths but of course this causes complications in some people, health wise or mentally.
The best thing is to take care of the skin cells that are infected, so we must somewhat destroy that cell so it cannot replicate. I would go with liquid nitrogen. Its very effective. You may or maynot get another outbreak but if it takes care of the cell that is infected of the skin then you should be good.
No one can tell you for sure what to do , everyones body work in a different way. Some people ge rid of the virus and some dont. I would quit smoking/ drinking. Eat healthy and exercise. This is all good for a healthy and better you. I say the main thing is smoking and drinking because it effects the immune system greatly.
Take some vitamins that help the immune system and go with that daily.
Make sure you see a dermatologist that is an expert in the field of skin disorders that can help you. If he is not sure of the lesions then get a biopsy done.
Remember that any sort of friction may cause the warts on your genitals to spread such as shaving and maybe even masturbation.
Thank you for the feedback. I guess I had some of the terminology mixed up. If I understand correctly, HSV2 is a type of HPV. Is that right?
Anyway, I'm feeling pretty awful about this situation. Undoubtedly, having a condition such as "genital warts" brings along a pretty heavy stigma. I've always tried to maintain a very healthy lifestyle, but it sounds like almost anyone that is sexually active is at risk for HPV. The little bumps I've got look like tiny little warts, so I'm fairly confident that I'll be dealing with HSV2. The first bump has been there for many months, but the other one seemed to show up within the last month or two. Last night, it dawned on me that I might have an STD. I wasn't able to sleep and have been sick to my stomach ever since!
Well, I'm hoping that it WON'T be HSV2, but it seems that all signs are pointing in that direction. If that is the case, I hope that my immune system is able to take care of it for good. Even if it goes away, it will probably always be be nagging me as it lurks in the back of my mind.
HSV2 would bring a lot of other symptoms besides just bumps. You would feel this tingling or burning sensation at the site of infection and then blisters would form. Other side effects just as swollen lymph nodes would also occur.
Unless the lesions youre talking about look like little red blisters thats when i would worry about HSV2.
You probably dont even have warts. Just see the doctor and see what they tell you. Like i said, best bet is dermatologist.
i know what you mean by the stigma it carries and yea society also makes it worse. We as humans carry loads of viruses that we dont know about and just because we got warts in a place other than our hands or feet it just makes it seem bad. Dont worry, just see the doctor and let us know how it goes.
Also, if its been 3 months or close to that since your last exposure i would get a STD screening done. If you get the HSV test make sure that it is IGG specific! not the IGM.
Thank you for the fantastic insight and advice. As of now, the only "symptom" I'm experiencing are the little bumps. They are pretty small (no more than 2mm) and haven't changed in size or color at all. Although, to me, they do look like tiny little blisters. However, they're not red or discolored. The one of them can be difficult to see as is blends in pretty well with hair follicles.
As mentioned, the one appeared before the other. At first, I was thinking that they may have formed because I often use "**** rings" as an erection aid. Sometimes, they are snug fit and can pull a little bit in taking them on and off. I figured I had just created a little damage to the thin, sensitive skin. I've even had some little tiny "bruises" after using a ring. Also, on occasion, I'll use rubber sex toys to masturbate. Maybe I'm just beating up on the skin a little too much. I sure hope that's all it is!
Anyway, I will go to the doctor this week and see what he/she has to say. I'll make sure I go to a dermatologist and as for the IGG-specific test. Thanks again for the advice (and to everyone that participates). This forum is absolutely fantastic. It sure is great when people reach out to help one another.
houndstooth49, you must know that self diagnosis is never good, even a doctor visual diagnosis MIGHT not be good. Try to see 3-4 dermatologists, they would offer you diffferent opinions sometimes.
You need TEST, get a biopsy/swab test on what it is, force your doctor to do it so you know what do you have, that's the only thing you can do.
Keep in mind herpes and HPV symptoms might vary from person to another. Herpes sore, for example, could be painful for some, could be not for others. It's typically painful indeed, come with blisters, reddish, and they appear in less than 3 weeks after you acquire the virus, etc. etc. But when I said "typically" it doesn't mean always...the virus can hide in your body for months before causing symptoms, the symptoms themselves might not hurt, and you might not even notice it. This is how most people have HSV1 (50-80% of adults in US) and they simply don't know. Some people don't even know cold sores are HSV1. Of course we haven't talked yet about asymptomatic infections so yeah it sucks really when we try to make sure if we have A or B :)
you also have to understand that genital warts (HPV) are often misdiagnosed for something else. Unless you have severe case of warts, yeah it'll be pretty sure as it does have a pattern. However, when you have mild case of genital warts (like only 2-3 small white bumps) you might misdiagnose it for something else. There are a lot of other white spots that may look very similar to mild warts, i.e. folliculitis, brutus, or other STD like molluscum contagiosum.
Don't look at internet pics, they usually only show u the obvious pattern of each case. If you have a mild case, it's very easy to misdiagnose it for something else. What you want to do is go ask your doctor to do a biopsy on your suspected spot.
Also i want to tell you that if you haven't been with anyone in the past 2 years and now all of sudden you have wart, it's very unlikely. It's true a dormant virus (any virus) can reactivate years later so I'm with Griever on this one (you might be one of the few) but i honestly believe what you have isn't wart.
Although i dont recommend you on picking up your wart, but the clear difference between a wart and others (i.e molluscum or folliculitis) is that a wart shouldnt be able to be picked out like you can pick out a pimple and even if you try to cut it forcefully, it'll always be full solid (means if you pop it out forcefully it won't rupture into white puss and the likes). However, again, i dont recommend you to try to mess it up yourself. Going to derm and ask for biopsy test is highly recommended. If the doctor is very convinced what you have is A or B, you might want another derm opinion. Some derms are really not reliable.
If the doctor is very convinced what you have is A or B, you might want another derm opinion. Some derms are really not reliable.
I meant: If the doctor is very convinced what you have is A or B WITHOUT DOING ANY BIOPSY, then you have to get a 2nd opinion. If two doctors confirmed by ONLY visual diagnosis what you have is "A" or "B", then you can move on and believe them. If they tell you different things, you must get a biopsy.
Thank you for the additional insight. I very well may be making a mountain out of a mole hill. I spent most of last night and this morning trying to look up information. However, I certainly don't know enough to be sure as to whether or not I have HPV. It sounds like I will need at least two opinions on the matter. I also have no plans to go picking at anything myself. The spots in question don't even really look like anything that one might want to pick at. They're just little spots of skin, and I can't even get close enough to them to give them a REALLY detailed look. They don't stick out at all like a typical "skin tag."
Anyway, I will consult my regular doc, a urologist, and at least two dermatologists. I might be able to get to a 2nd derm this week, as well. I've taken a few notes from this thread that I plan to bring along with me. Thank you again for helping me to get a better idea of what I need to ask about. Without all of that great advice, I'd probably just get a standardized answer from one doc and be good with it.
Also, if it turns out I have a problem that needs attention, should I just go with whatever is suggested? Is it better to start off with topical treatment or just go straight to a procedure? Hopefully, it'll turn out to be nothing and I won't need any sort of treatment. Thanks again!
it's a good option to get 2-3 opinions from different doctors at once. I do know that different doctors (usually) offer different opinions one to another so that's why it's important to get 2nd and 3rd opinions all the time..
If your case is a wart, then yes straight to a procedure is recommended (i.e. cryotherapy). If it's just a fungal infection or yeast, better to get topical cream. If it's herpes sore (HSV2) then you can get a viral pill/tablet to help your antibody in fighting the virus.
However, again, im quite sure you dont have herpes. I bet it's just a fungal/yeast infection or other non-STD infection. It could be genital wart either but honestly it could be anything.
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