Men who regularly inspect their penis as part of a regular penis health regimen (and that should include all men) are on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary – a rash, discoloration, growths, etc. One thing to be looking for is penis bumps, any raised areas of the skin that were not there previously. Penis bumps can arise for a multitude of reasons, and very often they are no cause for alarm. Sometimes, what may initially appear to be penis bumps may in fact be penis warts – and these need to be identified.
How does a guy know if penis bumps are actually warts? Penis warts are more commonly called genital warts, as they may appear anywhere in the genital area or in or around the anus. They are small and usually skin-colored or grayish in color. They tend to be raised and flat in top, resembling warts commonly found on other parts of the body. Often they appear in clusters.
Almost all penis warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Many people have heard about HPV and its link to cancer in recent years. Most of the time (but not necessarily all of the time), the forms of HPV that cause genital warts have a lower link to cancer development.
Penis warts are considered a sexually-transmitted infection (STI), because the transmission of HPV almost always is through sexual means. It is the most common STI transmitted by way of a virus. (BTW, 20% of individuals with genital warts also have another form of STI.)
Penis warts are enormously contagious; it is easy to become infected after just one sexual encounter with a person who has them. Condom use can cut down on the risk of infection significantly, as can being vaccinated against HPV.
Complicating matters are two facts: (1) Many people who become infected with HPV don’t develop warts and so they may be unaware of the infection, and (2) many people who become infected may not develop warts for months after they became infected. And a person can pass on the infection even if they do not have warts.
There are numerous treatments that might work to remove penis warts. These include chemical treatments, applied once a week in a clinic setting for several weeks; at-home crème treatments, again for several weeks; or physical removal of the warts. The latter takes several forms, including freezing or burning the warts off, which should be conducted by a medical professional.
It’s important to note that over-the-counter medications for removing warts are designed for warts that appear on other parts of the body; a man should not use them to remove penis warts, as this can lead to serious skin damage.
Even after penis warts are removed, the virus that caused them is likely to still be present in the body. It’s important to discuss this with a doctor to determine what steps to take to decrease the likelihood of transmission of the virus or what to do if warts recur.
Penis bumps, whether in the form of warts or not, are never a pleasant experience for a man. Often maintaining overall penis health can help lower the likelihood of penis bumps, so be sure to regularly use a top notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Since bumps often come with some degree of soreness, choose a crème that includes a pair of potent moisturizers, such as a high-end emollient (Shea butter is excellent) and a natural hydrator (look for vitamin E). It also pays to select a crème with vitamin D, which has proven benefits in fighting diseases and supporting healthy cellular function.