What are anal warts?
Anal warts, also known as genital warts, are growths found on the skin around the anus (rectal opening) or in the lower rectum.
What causes anal warts?
These growths, also known as condyloma, are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection.
Who is at risk for anal warts?
Risk factors for anal warts are the same as risk factors for HPV:
- Sexual partners: The more sexual partners, the higher risk of contracting genital HPV.
- Age: Anal warts occur most often in adolescents and young adults.
- Weakened immune systems: If you have a weakened immune system, you are at greater risk of HPV.
- Personal contact: Touching someone’s warts or not wearing protection before touching surfaces that have been exposed to HPV might increase your risk of HPV.
What are the symptoms of anal warts?
Symptoms of anal warts include:
- Small flesh-colored swellings in your anal area
- A cauliflower-like shape caused by several warts together
- Itching or discomfort
- Bleeding with intercourse
How are anal warts treated?
Anal warts can be treated with surgery, or occasionally they can be cleared with topical prescription medication. If left untreated, anal warts can go away, stay the same, grow in size or multiply. They can increase an individual’s risk for developing anal cancer.
- HPV Fact Sheet. (2017). https://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm
- HPV infection. (2019). mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hpv-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20351596
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016). Genital warts. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/genital-warts/symptoms-causes/syc-20355234