[Question #3374] Genital warts confusion

36 months ago
Hello Drs, 

Apologies for another question on this topic, but a recent medical visit has led to some confusion..

As background, I've been treated for genital warts on a few occasions over the past 12 months -- a course of aldara, which didn't seem to work, followed by cryotherapy, which did work. 

This week I visited a new clinic (I've moved) because I saw the same small brown-ish bumps return. The nurse and professor there were not convinced what I have are warts. The bumps are hard to see, as they're very small, but they're identical to what I've been treated for in the past. 

My question is: are there any other conditions that present as very small, brown bumps on the shaft and base of the penis? It's just obviously a bit frustrating that I'd like to get on top of this but am now not 100% sure what it even is .. and treatment for it isn't forthcoming because now medical staff aren't certain what it is. 

Thanks in advance..
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
36 months ago
Welcome back, but sorry you found it necessary.

The large majority of genital skin conditions are not STDs. I have no way of judging the cause of the bumps you describe, but they don't sound like warts and apparently your latest clinic providers don't think they are warts. If they don't look like the warts you had before, that's additional evidence that something else is the cause. My guess is that they are just natural irregularities in the skin, not abnormal. If you remain concerned about this problem, I suggest seeing a dermatologist.

Sorry I can't be more helpful. Best regards--  HHH, MD
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35 months ago
Thanks Dr, 

The issue I have is they ARE identical to the bumps I was treated for in the past -- which were diagnosed as warts.
But if you say they don't sound like warts -- that's something.   

I'll head to a GP and ask for a referral to a dermatologist. 

Thanks again for your help, 
Adam. 

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
35 months ago
Professional exam is clearly the best plan at this point. Depending on health care policies and referral systems wherever you are, consider skipping the GP and going directly to a dermatologist. Or an STD expert, e.g. if you're in a setting with expert STD or sexual health clinics like the UK, Australia, parts of the UK, and many other areas. (I'm guessing at a Commonwealth background -- we don't use "GP" so much any more in North America!). I'll be inerested to hear the outcome and will leave the thread open for one more comment after you're been seen professionally.

Don't be tempted to try any sort of self treatment before being examined. 
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