STDs Expert Forum
Genital warts vs. other abdominal warts?
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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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Genital warts vs. other abdominal warts?

Hi,

I'm 38 and recently went to a dermatologist to have some moles and marks looked at.  To my surprise, the Dr. said that I had warts on my abdomen.  I thought this was a birthmark and I've had it for as long as I can remember, but it looks like white moles across my abdomen, shaped like the Hawaiian Island chain (one big one, followed by five others of decreasing size.  The Dr. froze them and he also froze a few other marks on my scrotum near my shaft (which I thought were just moles as well or irregular genital skin).  The Dr. then told me not to worry, that although he thought they were likely contracted sexually, that once they fall off I will no longer be contagious (i.e. the HPV virus lives on the skin and not in the body, so once killed they are gone).  My questions are:
1) Is this true that once the warts are froze and fall off that I'm fine and can go on having sex, because the virus is only on the skin and not in your body?
2) Is this why HPV can't be tested via blood?
3) How can I determine if this is actually HPV (vs. a birthmark or molluscum) and what strain?  Do I need to have some cut off and sent for lab testing?

Thank you!
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.

If your medical history is accurate -- that you have had these mole-like things on your abdomen for a long time (several years) -- I'm surprised at the diagnosis of warts; and if they are warts, I strongly doubt they were sexually acquired or that they are due to the genital (sexually transmitted) HPV types.  I would recommend you get a second opinion, perhaps from another dermatologist.

1) It is true that HPV infections are strictly localized to the skin.  The virus does not get into the blood or travel to other parts of the body.

2) This has nothing to do with why there is no blood test for HPV.

3) As suggested above, I would find another dermatologist for a second opinion.  If necessary, special tests could be done to confirm whether the lesions really are warts; and if so, what HPV type is involved.

In the mantime, don't panic.  This really doesn't sound like an STD problem.

Good luck with it --  HHH, MD
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
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