Genital Warts Lifespan

Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Treatment is available that reduces the discomfort of a breakout. However, there is no cure for genital warts. Individuals who contract genital warts carry the virus the rest of their life.

  1. Features

    • Genital warts are highly contagious. According to, the virus that causes genital warts is "transferred from one person to another through sexual contact."


    • Genital warts look similar to a common hand wart. Their size ranges from small to large. According to the Mayo Clinic, "They may look like small, flesh-colored bumps or have a cauliflower-like appearance."


    • Treatment for genital warts begins after a breakout occurs. Treatment methods vary from topical creams to surgical removal. Podofilox and imiquimod, both topical creams, are the preferred treatment.


    • The Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine to aid in the prevention of HPV. According to Dr. Koutsky, the vaccine targets four strains of HPV: "HPV 16 and HPV 18, which cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers, and HPV 6 and 11 that cause 80 to 90 percent of genital warts."


    • Breakouts are recurrent, and their frequency is variable among sufferers.


    • Genital warts can be passed to others even if the sufferer is not experiencing a current breakout.

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