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Flat Wart on Penis Shaft
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Flat Wart on Penis Shaft

Hello Doctor,

Last week, the dermatologist told me, I had a flat wart on the shaft of my penis. So he carried out nitrogen freezoing on the wart once only and told me to come back for 6 more sessions to get the wart removed. The nurse told me it would require at least 2-3 sessions of nitrogen freezing to remove the wart.

The following day after the nitrogen freezing was carried out, I had a closer look at the wart. I tried scratching it a bit and the white skin that was covering it was removed. I now have a lesion that is healing with some antibiotic cream which I am applying.

I was a bit puzzled that the wart would be removed so easily, which makes me a bit doubtful whether it was reallya wary becasue doctors have told me before that warts cannot be removed by scratching.

So my question is was it really a wart from what I have described so far?

If the lesion is healing, do I need to go for more nitrogen freezing sessions?

How likely is it that if it was a wart, it will reappear and is it usually at the same spot?

If only one wart appear, does this mean that my immune system is keeping control of the HPV virus so that more warts do not appear at the same time?

I have also read from the CDC Report that the immune system is a likely mechanism for HPV DNA Clearance. So does that mean if I have a healthy immune system, it would eventually clear my body of the virus completely as well as the HPV DNA? How long does it take for my immune system to clear the virus and the HPV DNA from my body?

Does clearance of the virus mean that I am cured from the HPV virus? Or is it still transmittible to my future partners?

Thank you
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Welcome to the Forum.  I’ll try to help.  At this time it will be difficult to tell if the lesion on your penis was a wart or not since it is gone and/or any remaining tissue has been altered by the liquid nitrogen therapy making it difficult to tell.  It certainly sounds as though it could have been however.

Liquid therapy for warts needs to be continued (at intervals) until the wart is gone.  Sometimes this can be accomplished by a single treatment and on other occasions, several treatments are needed.  Many clinicians request that persons treated for warts return so that they can judge whether or not more treatment is needed.  Even with apparent complete response, about 15-20% of warts do recur (in that same spot), doing so within 2-3 months of initial therapy.  

The treatment and the presence of the wart, if that is what it was, will induce an immune response and should help to keep additional warts to recur however the effect of the immune response is not 100%

Untreated, nearly all warts "clear" within 18 months of infection.  Clearance, whether due to the treatment you received or if accomplished by the action of your immune system will mean that you are no longer infectious for sexual partners.  Typically we suggest that persons use a 3-month period after treatment to make sure that warts will not recur before they assume that they are not infectious for sex partners.  

I hope that I have addressed your questions satisfactorily.  The topic of HPV and genital warts is a complex one.  For additional information on this most common of STDs, I would suggest search for other HPV- and wart-related Q&A on this site, as well seeking addition information on sites such as the American Social health Association web-site (disclosure, Dr. Handsfield and I are both on the Board of ASHA).  EWH
Thank you Dr. Hook.

That was a very complete answer.

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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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