Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Avatar universal

HPV and acne

I contacted HPV even though my partner always used a condom.  I've only been with three people, so you can imagine my shock when I found out.  I had to undergoe a LEEP procedure last March to remove my precancerous cells, and thankfully, my paps have been clear since then.  I was wondering, however, if there is a link between HPV and acne breakouts.  Shortly before I was diagnosed my face developed several cystic pimples and blackheads/whiteheads.  I have never had a problem with acne before.  I struggled with this problem for almost a year.  I recently finished a prescription for minocycline, which helped tremendously.  Any info that you may have would be much appreciated.

46 Responses
Avatar universal
have never heard of a relationship tween HPV and acne.....u could google it and see if there's any research on it!
Avatar universal
I also contacted HPV last year.  Before I was diagnosed I noticed a couple of boils on my back area ..and my face broke out with acne, cystic pimples..Also, I felt as if I was experiencing reoccuring fevers..Which made me believe something else was wrong..I discovered it was not HIV thank God.  However, after the pimples would leave they left scares..I am confused every doctor I've visited says there is no correlation between acne and HPV but I feel otherwise.  I was fine before I slept with my ex.  Now I am scared that I have given this condition to someone else without knowing.  Since then I have not engaged in intercourse but I am still confused onto what exactly is wrong with me.

Avatar universal
I haven't ever heard about a link between these two things.  There is however, a distinct link between acne and stress.  Perhaps you were under a great deal of stress before/after finding out?  Just a thought.
Avatar universal
I also got acne on my forehead, neckline, scalp & upper chest the same summer I was diagnosed with HPV. I was 26 and had never had acne in my life. Furthermore it has persisted since then. If it leaves my forehead it appears on my neckline etc.. Its never in the same place  at the same time. I certainly DO attribute it to the HPV infection. Dr's do not know everything about viruses. In fact the surface is barely scratched as far as what is known about HPV. There are still alot of discoveries to be made. Furthermore I think its despicable that people can not get tested for this during STD screenings. Males in particular. Of course 80% of the population has some sort of HPV. 80% of the population would also have HIV if we didn't test for it!
Avatar universal
When I stopped taking birth control pills I developed genitals warts and my acne got really bad. I haven't read anything about to support this, but I feel like all of these things are related.  Maybe something to do with hormone changes?  You didn't start or stop taking birth control pills around the same time that this happened, did you?  I am wondering if any one else has had this experience.
Avatar universal
OMG yes I had the exact same experience. I stopped taking birth control (was on the pill and then the Nuvoring for 15 years) and I got both acne and genital warts / HPV. There is no way these things cannot be related. I'm about to start treatment with prescription cream for the warts (which itch horribly) and I'm getting back on the Nuvoring. Hopefully the hormones will help too.
Avatar universal
I got the same problem, a little while before i was diagnosed I had crazy breakouts out of nowhere literally overnight it seemed,nothing I have ever had before.I got the abnormal cells removed the a freezing procedure the Dr did.It has been about a week However the acne is still there.I hope it goes away very soon!
Avatar universal
I got HPV back in August of this year and since September I have been breaking out.  I have it under a little more control now but not as much as I would like.  I just got 5 cysts on my neck.  2 on the back of my neck and 1 front right side, 1 front left and 1 behind my left ear lobe on neck.  This is EXTREMELY rare for me.  I never broke out there before.

I had acne when I was 12 or 13 up until about 22.  I went to a new derm and she told me to stop the retin-a and just wash your face with water because I grew out of it.  I was fine from 22 up until now (28).  6 years of no problems and as soon as I contract HPV I am having all sorts of problems.  

First it was on face.  I developed VERY small bumps on my forehead that can only be seen in certain light and now I am getting these cysts on my neck.  This is ridiculous.  HPV absolutely causes acne.  There is no way it's just a coincidence that I was acne free for 6 years and then 2 weeks after I contract HPV I am breaking out.  It's a disease that affects the skin.  It's not like there isn't merit to this possibility.
Avatar universal
I also think its despicable that there is no test for HPV. How hard is it? The doctors say its not practical since so many people have it. But you know, if they didn't text for HIV, so many people would have that too. I'm so pissed that I got this. It was preventable. But the CDC dropped the ball. A simple test could have been developed in the 70's when they saw link between this & cancer. Not just cervical cancer either, throat cancer, anal cancer. And I suspect it can also plays a role in some breast cancers. (Those have pores too!)

Anyways. yes, there is so many things doctors do not know. Its redic that they do not even entertain the idea of certain links. Like acne & HPV. (which I also inquired about.) Or the effects of a diet changes on HPV progression. Like they know everything. They dont. You are right, there is still so much left to discover. Also why I am now a biology student myself.

So yeah, the same summer/week I was diagnosed with HPV I had a terrible breakout of these tiny pimples all over my upper chest & forhead. While the copius amounts of tiny pimples on my chest went away, the rest seemed to migrate to under my neckline & back, and occur pretty regularly never really being in the same 2 places at once. I had a leep last year but now suspect either re-infection or re-occurance since the chest pimples are back  in droves as of last week.

If you want to talk about getting a research project together to investigate this- please do direct mail me.
Avatar universal
I'd be careful before making blanket assumptions about HPV given the vast amount of science that has gone into studying this virus. On a public forum where people are on edge already, making claims that HPV may be linked to breast cancer too can be alarmist. Just a thought.
Avatar universal
Fevers, genital warts, and now "acne":Yes I've had the same experience.

It seems logical to me that this "acne" breakout is a case of actually facial warts.  HPV causes warts of all kinds.  The idea that an HPV infection would limit itself to a breakout in only one location seems narrow minded and illogical.  

Doctors need to put on their scientist hats and stop regurgitating boilerplate from the CDC website. We can all read that on our own thank you, what we need are assessments based on the knowledge base of scientific studies, individual patient testimony, and logical deduction that relies on the skills learned in medical school.  

Since we can't get that because most doctors would rather condescend and issue decrees from on high rather than engage in fact based analysis, here's what I can deduce based on my own experience, a survey of medical data, and college level biology courses.

1.  We engaged in sexual activity with a carrier of a strain of HPV and contracted the virus.
2.  It remained dormant in our systems (in my case for a year) until the virus was triggered into activity and reproduction.
3.  The increase in the viral load of HPV triggered an immune response in our bodies (i.e. the fevers).
4.  The now active and propagated virus sought to spread itself and further it's reproduction by infecting others by congregating in virus laden pustules on the surface of our skin.  
5.  The best locations to congregate to ensure contact with potential new carriers being the genitals and in our cases also the face.

That's where I am now.  Dealing with a miserable case of  facial warts.  I only hope that they go away "eventually" like the available data says.  All I can say to other sufferers is you're not crazy and yes HPV causes "acne".  But it's not really acne though, they're warts. And they suck.
Avatar universal
Ok, here's an update:
I've been through a lot of products and supplements but I'm too lazy right now to give a thorough week-by-week rundown so here's the bottom line and the closest thing to a magic cure I've found: Thuja Occidentalis

Take it internally, a company named Boiron makes some little pellets and you can find the liquid extract online or at a really really thorough health food store (but most places stores don't carry it).

I've found it dramatically dries up the acne/warts/whatevers.  So much so that when I went on vacation and ran out for most of the week, I had a another significant breakout immediately whereas before that things were clearing up nicely.

I tried using it topically but that didn't seem to help.  Now i'm taking a dropper full in some water a few times a day and my latest breakout is going away.

Now my biggest problem is two little beige spots on my face where the first and most egregious acne/warts/whatevers broke out.  So now I'm trying all kinds of fade creams.

Anyway, my non-professional, non-medical, liability-free advice to whoever has frantically Googled themselves to this website is to take Thuja Occidentalis as quickly as possible if you think you have a case of warts.  It's hippie homeopathic stuff that should be harmless if you've misdiagnosed yourself but may save you a world of hurt if you do in fact have warts.  

And try your best to resist picking or popping these damn things like regular pimples.  They don't react the same and it won't work.  It's advice I should heed myself, but I can still give it even if I don't listen to it.

Good luck and god-speed fellow sufferers.  
Take your Thuja and avoid mirrors.  Seriously, it helps.

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