[Question #6635] HPV

14 months ago
Dear Drs.

I recently noticed a flesh colored raised / flat topped bump on my lower abdomen. It’s been there prob a couple of months.  It was getting in the way when I shaved my abdomen so  I went to the dermatologist and she said it was likely an HPV wart from sexual contact because  of the location. 

The problem is I’ve only been sexually active with 1 person in my entire life which is my wife of 16 years.  I am also the only sexual partner she’s ever had. 

Therefore I don’t understand how I could’ve acquired HPV.  Is it possible it’s some other strain of HPV unrelated to any sexual experience?

Thank you.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
14 months ago

Welcome back to the Forum.  I'm going to guess that you were seeing your dermatologist for the first time.   I know from your multiple prior visits to our site that you worry a lot about STIs and would not have made a comment of this sort to you casually having known your background levels of concerns.  Did the dermatologist take a sexual history?  Was the lesion treated?  Are tests going to be done on it?

Given that you have had penetrative sex with just one person the lesion you describe is unlikely to be a genial wart or sexually acquired.  there are many other sorts of benign skin lesions, including skin tags which can be mistaken at a glace for warts.  Further, if it is/was a wart, please remember that there are more than 100 different types of HPV and less than half of them are genitally transmitted.  Thus if the lesion was a wart, there is no reason to worry that it was a genital wart  and it well good have been due to a type of HPV that typically infects non-genital sites 

I look forward to the answers to my questions above.  I may have additional comments.  EWH

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14 months ago
Hi Dr Hook,

Please allow me to respond to your questions below:

1. Did the dermatologist take a sexual history?

No but I told her that I had only had 1 partner for sex my entire life and my wife only 1 as well.  

We’ve been married for 16 years. That’s why I was so shocked she said it was HPV.  I told her it couldn’t be right.


2. Was the lesion treated?  

Yes sir. She froze it with what I presume was liquid nitrogen.

3. Are tests going to be done on it?

No sir. She didn’t even mention that testing it was an option.

I’m really concerned and I appreciate your advice.

Look forward to your response.



Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
14 months ago
Thanks for the additional information. As I said, I think your dermatologist's reply was rather casual and ill considered.  Please do not worry.  Liquid nitrogen therapy is destructive and so testing at this time is probably not possible  I would not worry about this lesion at all. In the unlikely circumstance that it recurs, I would suggest you request a biopsy prior to treatment so it can be tested.  EWH
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14 months ago
Thank you sir. Two final questions:

1. If it recurs what type of test do I request?
2. Do you think it’s safe to resume sex with my wife? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
14 months ago

AS you know, this will be the final response to this thread:

1.  If the lesion recurs, request to have it biopsied and examined microscopically.  If it appears compatible with HPV microscopically, then it can be tested.  I must ask however, so what if it is- that means nothing in terms of risk to you or your partner.  You can see our perspectives on this in other threads dealing with HPV on the site.  (There is NO NEEd for further questions on this topic at this time.  "What if" questions serve no purpose and will not be addressed)

2.  Yes, absolutely.

This will now end this thread.  I urge you to put this event behind you and move forward.  EWH

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