[Question #2900] Hpv wart or not and recurrence

40 months ago


I had one what I thought was a wart on the shaft of my penis near the base for about a year. It never spread or had any other unordinary marks. About 4-4.5 months ago I went to the dr and presented him as such telling him I had a wart (at the time what I thought it was just because of location and general hearing of it) he took a quick look told me to try Imiquimod for a couple weeks but it might not work and that he could freeze it off. A couple weeks later (about 3.5-4 months ago) I got it frozen off. 


The reason I’m saying I thought it was a wart because in retrospect after a lot of reading and reviewing online it did not look like 95% of the pictures I see online. It had a stalk where I can pinch/twist/flick/pull and grew a little bigger towards the top. I see places that say warts do not appear like that or singular and they could be skin tags and others where it says they can be pedunculated. It definitely did not lay flat on the skin (I had even previously used a home acid remover and it would dissolve in a couple days then re-grow a couple weeks later with no damage to skin). Could the dr had confused the two or just assumed it was a wart? (Also have had a skin tag on my Anus previously and I’ve seen tags can be genetic/friction)


About 3 weeks ago I went to the dr again (different dr) because I saw a couple spots (like exacerbated fordyce spots) and the dr said it was probably nothing and they kinda went away in a week or two. He examined the original site and said it looked normal and nothing was there. After that I was working on the scar area of the original site trying to treat the scar (aloe, cocoa butter, vitamin e, rubbing with oil). Now I have noticed on the original site in the center of the scarred skin there is a round and pronounced area. This occurred almost overnight. Could this be the original lesion returning or skin amassing? It does look larger in size then the original lesion. If it was due to irritation I would think the whole scarred are would look that way but it seems to be almost centered with scar border around it. It looks like it could be just skin growing back but some of the edges have closed in and you can see difference in color/skin texture at the new site. 


Could this have been something other than a wart? (I have been misdiagnosed in this region before) After nearly 4 months and no new occurrences until now (not sure what this is still) can this be returning? How long should I wait to get this looked at if it possibly going to grow?

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
40 months ago
Welcome back to the forum, but sorry to see you remain so concerned despite the reassurance you had from Dr. Hook.

From your description, and putting together all the information in both this thread and your previous one, it seems unlikely that your penile lesions are warts, and probably no other STD either. However, I can understand that if you told your doctor you had genital warts, s/he might have assumed you had been accurately diagnosed and made the assumption that indeed that was the problem -- perhaps without careful consideration. In any case, from your description, warts are quite unlikely.

But beyond that I really cannot comment on other possibilities. On my bookshelf is a book titlte Genital Dermatology Atlas. As the name implies, it is filled with picutures of genital skin problems. Of its 300 pages, only 15 deal with STDs, and only 2-3 of those with HPV and warts. To put it another way, the large majority of genital skin problems are not warts or other STDs. There are all kinds of skin bumps and irregularities that might be misinterpreted as warts by persons without medical training, especially if they are anxiously and repeatedly examining themselves. I would guess that something like this is going on, i.e. that you have nothing abnormal. However, I really have no way of knowing. All I can do is suggest you find a single physician (preferably a dermatologist) you trust, then follow his or her advice -- no more doctor shopping, no searching online, and for sure no more self examination or self treatment wtih "home acid remover" (whatever that is) or anything else. Treatment with caustic or irritating agents is just about the best way there is to make the skin look abnormal in ways that make diagnosis that much more difficult, even by trained professionals.

My other comment is to say that you seem overly obsessed with genital warts. Although nobody wants genital warts, it really isn't a big deal. They should be viewed as an unpleasant inconvenience, but not an important health problem. Certainly not worth the repeated self examination, treatment, and worry. For now, just wait and see the the particular spot you are concerned about develops into an obvious bump, risiing significantly above the surrounding skin. Do not attempt to examine the area -- just glance at it every couple of weeks. And then, if indeed it appears to grow to significant size (more than 2-3 mm), see a doctor. In the meantime, hands off!

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD

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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
39 months ago

With no activity for 4 weeks, this thread is now closed. Please note the forum does not permit repeated questions on the same topic or exposure. This will have to be your last on this topic; others will be deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and is designed to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers. In addition, continued answers tend to prolong users' anxieties. Finally, such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. Thank you for your understanding.


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