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Genital warts, condyloma acuminatum

What is it?

It is a type of wart that occurs in the mucous membranes of the genital or anal area, caused by (HPV). They are self-inoculable and can spread through contact with lesions of areas not affected, and transmitted by direct contact with infected persons.

It affects mainly adults, and the sexual intercourse is the most common form of contamination. When the disease affects children, the possibility of sexual abuse should be considered.

Characteristics and symptoms

Condyloma acuminatum is characterized by vegetative lesions (similar to a "cauliflower"), of pink or whitish color, moist and softer than the common warts.

The size can vary from small dots, sometimes imperceptible, to bigger lesions. If occurs an exaggerated growth, it may form a large tumor, the giant condyloma of Buschke-Lowenstein, that can evolve to a verrucous carcinoma (cancer) of the penis.

In women, the lesions caused by certain HPV types may favor the appearance of a cancer of the cervix.

When warts occur outside of the mucous membranes, on the skin of the genitals or perigenital and peri-anal areas, the infection forms elevated lesions, of normal skin color or darker, similar to viral warts that affect the skin of other body areas.


The treatment of genital warts consists on their destruction, which can be done through surgical procedures, by chemical cauterization of the lesions (use of caustic substances) or cryosurgery (destruction of lesions with liquid nitrogen).

Topical substances, such as podophyllotoxin and imiquimod (topical immunomodulator), also demonstrated efficacy. When the lesions occur in large number, may be needed to stimulate the patient's immune system to fight against the virus.

Related articles

- Warts
- Genital herpes

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