Human papillomavirus is a virus that many people may not be aware they have because they never develop symptoms. The virus lives in mucous membranes, such as the skin. There are more than 100 types of HPV, and if one does develop symptoms, the most common sign will be a wart.
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HPV can infect the skin, but it generally infects the sexual organs such as the cervix. If untreated, it can cause cancer.
Genital warts are a common result of the HPV virus. They are growths that can appear on the mouth, anus or genitals.
The warts can look like flat or raised pimples, or even look like cauliflower. There may just be one, or several in a colony.
There are four types of warts, common warts (affecting the hands, face, skin, and head), flat warts (which can itch), plantar warts (thick warts that look like calluses) and genital warts.
External symptoms such as warts may not be noticeable. You may notice a discharge, external itching or burning.
A wart may leave on its own, without any treatment. This, however, could take years, and it is recommended that not only should you be diagnosed if a wart appears, but that you also receive proper treatment.
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