STDs Expert Forum
How fast do genital warts show up?
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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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How fast do genital warts show up?

Hello Doctor-  quick question...  i had unprotected sex last night with a new partner who's STD status was unknown (stupid, i know).... anyway, during sex i started to experience pain in a spot on the shaft of my penis.  after sex, the spot turned a dark red (like a friction burn) and this morning it appears as a dark red splotchy mark that is oozing a clear discharge.  Do you think this is a genital wart, and is it possible or likely for one to appear less than 12 hours after sex?  Any other suggestions?

Thank you very much for you help!!

-Chuck B.
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Welcome to the forum.

It is impossible that a wart could appear in 12 hours.  Several weeks is the minimum, and mostly it's 6 months or more before visible warts appear.  Anyway, warts do not cause lesions like friction burns.  Anything that appears so quickly has to be an injury, allergy, or chemical irritation -- most likely it's just what it seems, a friction lesion from vigorous sex.  However, herpes might be another possibility -- although not herpes you caught during that exposure.  If that's the cause, it would have to be a recurrent herpes outbreak that was about to occur anyway.  However, this really doesn't sound like herpes either.  But if you remain in doubt, visit your primary care provider or your local health department STD clinic and get it checked out.  Anyway, for sure there is no worry about warts.

Regards--  HHH, MD
7 Comments
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239123_tn?1267651214
Another thought:  Are you taking any medicines?  If you started a new drug in the past 1-2 weeks, conceivably you could have the kind of allergic reaction called "fixed drug eruption".
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Thank you for your quick response doc!  The information is much appreciated!!!

-Chuck
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Avatar_m_tn
Just saw your reply-  I have been taking an antibiotic for the past 4 days to treat an upper respiratory infection.  I believe it is azithromycin.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Bingo.  I'm not aware that azithromycin has been reported to trigger FDE, but almost any drug can do it from time to time, so this seems a good bet.  FDEs typically behave much like a burn -- a red/sore patch that can easily be eroded by friction, leaving an open, weeping sore.  If that describes what you have, you should call or visit the doctor or clinic who prescribed azithro, and/or see a dermatologist.
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I will call my dermatologist this afternoon and set up an appointment asap.  Thank you again for your help doctor!  I think it is great that you are providing this service and making it easy for people like me to get easy access to expert information during troublesome times.... keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!
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239123_tn?1267651214
I just did a quick Medline (medical database) search.  Apparently there are no reported FDEs due to azithromycin.  However, other drugs in the same class, such as erythromycin and clarithromycin, can cause FDE, so for sure azithro could do it.  However, it's apparently rare.  If the dermatologist agrees FDE is a good bet, perhaps s/he will want to consider writing up a case report for submission to a medical journal.  (You might consider printing out this thread and using it to frame the discussion with your dermatologist.)
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
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