[Question #1726] HPV Tranmission

44 months ago
I was recently diagnosed with HPV, my doctor gave me a topical cream and said to dry the area first.  Can I keep using the same bath towel?  There's multiple answers on the internet about HPV on clothes, my concern is using the same towel all over my body, does it pose a risk of transmission to to others, I can't find information on how long it lasts on towels, inanimate objects, etc.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
 Welcome to our Forum. I will be happy to address your questions. The question you ask is the important one and frequently asked. While it has not been formally studied, available data suggests that HPV is not spread by using a towel which has contacted HPV related to lesions. Indeed, there are studies which show that HPV DNA can be detected on inanimate objects, including towels, following contact with sites of infection but this does not equate to transmission of infection.  This, while a theoretical possibility, I would urge you not to worry about spreading HPV  on the surface of a towel.  EWH---
44 months ago
Is there any estimated time on how long it can survive on surfaces, etc? and do they offer the vaccine to people over 26?..would that help any?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago

Time is not a factor with respect to HPV transmission through contact with inanimate objects.  I would urge you not worry about this mode of transmission.

Not sure of what you are getting at here with respect to the vaccine,  As far as the HPV vaccine is concerns, this is a preventative vaccine, not therapeutic so it would have no effect on HPV infection which was already present.  In contrast, it is highly effective for preventing infection.  The reason it is recommended for persons under 26 is because, from a statistical perspective (and therefore there are exceptions), most people have acquired HPV infections by that age if they are going to become infected.  The vaccine series typically costs between $300 and $400 and insurance companies typically pay for it only up to age 26.  There is no harm in taking the vaccine after age 26 and it would protect against infection with HPV types that the person receiving the vaccine did not already have.  EWH 

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44 months ago
What is the best type of Physician to work with me diagnosis (my Dr. said he "thinks" its HPV.  I am having a hard time being around people because of so much information out there on inanimate objects.  It is hard to use the restroom and sometimes my pants get wet and I'm also not sure what to use to wash hands..soap and water or a hand sanitizer
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
 I would suggest that you seek additional information from a  knowledgeable dermatologist (not all are).   Such a person could biopsy a lesion if there was any question as to what was causing it.   

 This is the third reply to your questions. Therefore, as perform guidelines this thread will be closed in a few hours. I hope my comments have been helpful to you and that you can move on from these concerns.  EWH
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