[Question #1026] HPV transmisson after 6 years and baby

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94 months ago

I  had one genital wart removed 6 years ago and have never had a recurrence. I have had my yearly exams and no other warts have been found as recent as 3 months ago. I have also been with my husband for 5 years and he has never had a wart and even got examined by his doctor several years ago to make sure. Does this likely mean that my body has gotten rid of the virus in your opinion?

I was diagnosed with anxiety/OCD after my daughter was born and have always had a fear that I would give her a wart through a diaper change, even knowing i wash my hands religiously and use sanitizer right before taking diaper off.  I feared for a long time while being affectionate with my baby because of this that she would get it. Would simply kissing my baby near her mouth infect her if i had an oral HPV infection i didnt know about?

My second question is something I'm not sure you can answer... I am pregnant again and am 4 months and have all of a sudden developed what looks like  common warts on two knuckles on my hands. Can this be genital warts transferred to my hand from my own genitals if my previous infection from 7 years ago hasn't in fact been cleared by my body? 

The one wart i have treated with Oregano oil and band-aids and that one has gone away, but i have since had two more appear on another knuckle. I have been treating them with oregano oil and will keep them covered with band-aides till they are gone but again i am terrified of transferring these to my 2 year old daughter.

So many websites give misleading information about whether a common wart can be transferred to your genitals and vice versa genital warts to hands. 
Is a common wart so contagious that it would be transferred to the baby wipe and then to my babies genitals? or if my knuckles just  brushed against her? Some websites say yes and that during bath times it can be transferred as well?

Your thought are greatly appreciated, thank you!

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Edward W. Hook M.D.
94 months ago

Welcome to our Forum.  I will be glad to help to the extent that I can.  Although we know much, much more than we did just 20 years ago, there is still much to be learned about HPV (the virus that causes warts) transmission.  The fact that there are unknowns sets the stage for alarmist posts on the internet which tend to upset people far, far out of proportion to what is appropriate for HPV.  On to your questions.

The facts that you had a single wart removed years ago which has not recurred and that your husband has not developed strong evidence that the infection that was there has been successfully dealt with by the combination of removal and your immune system.  This is also typical of the natural history of most HPV infections - within a few years of infection the body's immune system causes the infections to resolve, keeps them from recurring, and prevents transmission to others.  I would urge you to assume that this is the case for you- all the evidence you mention points to this.  this being the case, you also should not worry about transmitting your genital warts to your infant child in the course of normal care and activities.  You may want to work closely with a professional to address your OCD and not let your unwarranted concerns effect your relationship and ability to touch and be affectionate with your children. 

As for the lesions on your hands, several comments.  First, it is not clear to me that the lesions that you describe are warts.  During pregnancy the body creates all sorts of strange rashes.  Even if these are warts however, they are almost certainly in no way related to your prior genital wart.  There are over 100 different types of HPV that cause warts and the types of HPV that cause genital warts do not cause warts on other body parts (such as the hands and fingers) and vis versa (i.e.  the sorts of virus than cause hand and foot warts are not the same types that cause genital warts).  I would suggest that you see a good dermatologist and first find out if the lesions on your hands are warts and then irrespective of what they are, ask her/him how to best deal with them.  In my opinion, admitting that dermatology and pediatrics are not my field, I would not be the least bit worried about transmission of warts (if that is what these lesions are) to your baby during diaper changes, bathes, etc. 

I hope these comments are helpful.  EWH