"What do genital warts look like?" If you've found a growth near or on your genitals, you may ask yourself this question. Warts on your hands or feet are often raised and may remind you of a cauliflower. Genital warts are a bit different, as they have a variety of appearances.
There are three general characteristics to look for when determining whether you may have genital warts: size, color and quantity. The warts may also be located directly on the genitalia, or on the anus or surrounding skin.
The following is a quick guideline to use when determining if a growth you have may be genital warts. As always, it is advisable to seek your doctor's opinion. These types of warts require special treatment and are highly contagious.
Flat Or Raised?
Much like skin moles, genital warts can be raised bumps or flat against the skin. In fact, they may even be lesions that are basically invisible. Doctors can treat skin with a solution that will make warts visible if you aren't sure if you have a wart or not. On the opposite end of the spectrum, genital warts may be very large and raised bumps, about the size of a skin callus. However, they have a texture like cauliflower, making them easy to distinguish from other skin lesions.
White Or Flesh-Colored?
Genital warts can be flesh-colored or white in appearance, so do not be misled into believing they must look a certain way to be diagnosed as a sexually transmitted disease. They are most often flesh-colored, so unless there are other symptoms appearing with the growth, it may be possible for the genital warts to go undiagnosed for some time. Because the virus that causes warts can remain dormant, the growth or other uncomfortable symptoms may not appear for months or years after sexual contact with an infected individual, which is why it is all too easy to spread the virus if you don't practice safe sex.
Single Or Clustered?
Lastly, genital warts may appear as a single growth, or together in a cluster of fleshy growths. Experiencing the latter will probably make diagnosis more clear, but remember that there is no typical appearance of warts in the genital area. They may appear directly on (or in, in the case of women) your genitals, on the anus or around any of the surrounding tissue that may have been in contact with an infected person during sexual activity. Seek a doctor's prompt care for a proper diagnosis.