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.

Avatar universal
There is also a link of HPV to skin cancers in men.  I am having some suspicious moles removed soon. Since HPV is a skin disease, how could there not be a link of it to acne or melanoma?
Avatar universal
Another update:

The Thuja apparently stopped working and my acne/warts came back with a vengeance after disappearing completely.  

After much Googling and research on the NIH website I discovered Licorice Root Tea and Extract plus 'Bluebonnet Targeted Multiples Men's Choice Caplets'.

The combo has killed my warts, I noticed a difference on day 2.  Unfortunately, I have the aftermath of 5-6 nasty cystic pimples on face but I have no doubt that the HPV in my system is dead or dying.

The formula I came up with duplicates the medicine given to the people in this study on HPV:

I drank 6 cups of 'Traditional Medicinals Organic Licorice Root Herbal Tea' a day (chilled in the fridge like iced tea), applied 'Nature's Answer Licorice Root Extract' on each wart, many times a day, and took 3 caplets of the Bluebonnet supplement twice a day (once in the morning, again in the evening).

I also took Boiron 200ck Causticum pellets and 30c Antimonium Crudum pellets twice a day.  I started taking them after the Thuja but before the licorice/supplement formula.  I noticed no difference in the warts until I stared the licorice and caplets.  I've only kept taking them as a just-in-case back-up, plus I had already paid for them so I figured why not.

Once I started the licorice and caplets the warts got more puss-y, I squeezed them, gently for the first time, since incidental contact was making them leak and it was gross, then applied alcohol and more licorice extract.  The next day they were flatter and darker, then over the next couple of days they got redder and then more flesh colored and softer.  Its been 4 days now, I've gotten no new warts, and the ones I had are definitely dead and looking better each day.

I'm keeping up my tea & caplet regimen and plan on continuing for a month to be sure.  I'm washing with a Clearasil 2% salicylic acid face wash and using Clearasil pads a couple of times a day to clear the old wart tissue.  I can only hope that the damage done to my skin by the HPV warts will fade over time.

Skip the Thuja, go straight to the licorice root and the supplements.  Read the study and learn about the benefits of glycyrrhizin, the active ingredient in licorice for more info.

This method will kill your warts (and more importantly, the HPV) in DAYS.
I'm not a doctor, I'm just a persistent sufferer unwilling to wait two years for my system to maybe clear out the HPV on it's own.  

1808540 tn?1320114860
I wouldn't doubt it if HPV made you tired either.. ever since I had it.. I've been so sleepy.
Avatar universal
Yet another update...
I started to get some pimples/warts near my temple that resembled nasty mosquito bites but I knew what they were.  I did some more research and discovered zinc sulfate pills.  They have been used in another set of studies on HPV that you can look up on the NIH website.

I'm duplicating the regimen described in the studies (Two 300mg doses daily for a total of 600mg) and as of today in week four I can say I am wart free.  After one week of zinc I got periodic waves of nausea for 2 or 3 days but I stuck with it and they went away.

I'm going to keep up this high does for the full 5 week regimen they taper down to a lower dose, maybe 100mg.

For those who think 600mg is poisonous or risking toxicity I refer you to two scientific studies (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11952542 & http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479878)
and also ask you to think about the list of horrible side affects that many FDA approved drugs are known to cause.  Most of them read like a list of symptoms a poison control center would issue warnings about.

The nausea passes as your body adjusts but if you'd rather have warts on your face you can always ignore me and let that happen.  Taking the zinc with a meal helps with the nausea.

There are pleasant side effects to high dose zinc treatment: improved mood (apparently low zinc levels have been linked to depression and ADHD) and increased libido (there are studies backing that too, look it up).

So zinc sulfate (sulphate) will probably cure your warts, improve your mood, and make you horny.

Cure = found.

I still recommend the licorice tea and supplements as a quick attack on the HPV virus and zinc as a long term remedy to the underlying cause of HPV flare-up and susceptibility (low blood serum zinc levels).

But, I'm no doctor so use your own discretion.
The medical establishment says there is no link between acne aka facial warts and HPV and recommends you do nothing.
Good luck with that.

Avatar universal
Is it really confirmed that HPV causes fever and nausea, how bout throat problem?
Avatar universal
Nothing is confirmed, I'm just relating what happened in my personal experience.  It seems to match some other people's experiences.

I have not had any throat problems that I can associate with HPV.
Avatar universal
Ok so maybe "cure" was an overstatement...

I'm still getting suspicious "pimples" that don't act like any pimples I got prior to this past summer's fever & case of what look like facial warts.  I still think they're warts but they are less aggressive then they were a few months ago.  They heal exceptionally slowly and tend to leave little brown marks when they do. Plus I now have a wart  near the base of my spine that is very slowly diminishing.  

My thinking is that I have a very tough and resistant case of warts (in medical lingo, a recalcitrant case), or a simultaneous infection with multiple strains, or maybe both those issues.

I'm going full spectrum warfare (or antiviral cocktail) on this crap.  I will not yield.  I will not be broken.

Daily, I'm still taking 600mg of zinc sulfate, the bluebonnet pills, 200ck boiron pellets, 200ck causticum pellets (I just ran out of these today), drinking licorice tea, washing with Clearasil salicylic acid face soaps, and applying zinc face creams (even spot applications of Neosporin).

As of a week ago I am also taking fish oil gel capsules and squeezing some capsules out and applying the oil to my face before bed. It smells slightly fishy but it's tolerable.

Wow, writing that all out makes it seem exhausting, and makes me look crazy, but whatever.  I will not lose.

I know my face would look a lot worse if not for my efforts.  Things were looking quite bad just a month or so ago with big nasty dark warts on my face but I fought the virus back.  It seems to bounce back after every treatment though.  People looking at me would only think I have mild acne on my cheek and some acne scars but I know it's not that.  I'm 33 years old and up until 5 months ago I never had this issue. The skin on my face simply isn't looking or behaving the same way it did for three decades of my life.

I'm hoping for good results with the fish oil but the study I'm basing that on took 70 days to 6 months to clear the warts of the patient (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22251397).

I'll keep at it.  I'm also intrigued by the Moringa plant and even the HPV vaccine which has shown some anecdotal results in clearing active cases of warts.

Fight on sufferers.

Avatar universal
Thanks for the info frank, did you also use aldara on your genital warts? I have it now, and doctor told me to apply it twice a week for 16 weeks, i hope these genital warts would be gone soon, I have a question, if these warts are gone, is still there any chances to infect your new partner?  I am new to all these, I hate that I trusted the wrong one before.  I felt like dying inside having these sufferings.
Avatar universal

No I've never used Aldara and I have no idea how likely you are to infect a new partner.

It's Sunday and I have an appointment at a clinic to receive the first of the three shots that make up the HPV vaccination this coming Tuesday.

This new wart breakout is continuing, multiplying, and they hurt. The ones near my left temple are sore right now and I haven't squeezed them at all and the latest one on my right cheek is sore to the touch.

This is just about my last resort and it's going to cost almost $400 for the three shots since I don't have medical insurance yet.  I'm hoping the vaccine helps me the way it helped the guy in this case report: http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=421281

I've read other anecdotal reports about other case's of warts clearing up after the vaccine was administered.  There have been no studies done on treating warts with the vaccine (of course since HPV doesn't matter to the medical establishment beyond the known cancer link).  But if I do in fact have an active case of HPV causing painful acne/warts/lesions on my face, god knows what such dramatic cell alteration is doing in regards to my overall risk for cancer.
Regardless, my mission to kill this crap continues.
Avatar universal
hpv does not cause TRADITIONAL acne which is caused by some infection eacneus something or other. but HPV does cause acne like sores which are recurring and scar. it looks like zits, but it's another infection which causes yellow/black heads often on face neck scalp. mine are generally back if head near hairline. the bad news... they never stop coming (17 years now for me ) the good news... keep the zitty area clean and dry as well as down there (wash well in shower and wear dryer hot underwear) and you can go long periods without major zit swelling. by all means, never pick at them. you can pop the yellow heads but clean and dry well afterwards. never pick off the crusty scabs. you know what I'm talking about. good luck.
Avatar universal
yikes 17 years...well my question to you is,
what kind of things have you tried to stop the recurrences?
Avatar universal
Frank, please keep us updated. I have the same issue, and it's been going on for about 2 years. I've tried all sorts of different things, and just recently found out I have HPV 16. So I guess I can stop searching for the cause, and start searching for the cure.

These things have just appeared on my face in the last two years, which I'm sure that also has something to do with the virus and a low immune system at the time.....

Let us know .
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