Q. Can a single genital wart exist unchanged for over 10 years?

Answered by
Dr. Sampada Avinash Thakare
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 11, 2018 and last reviewed on: Sep 18, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am not sure why I never bothered to ask these questions before now, but I suppose it is better late than never. I have what appears to be a single genital wart just below the head. I have had it since I was 16 years old. I went through five years in the military with this without any problems. I passed all the medical screenings and received all the vaccinations that were standard at the time. I have been out of the military for two years and still in relatively good condition. I do not have high blood pressure or any genetic propensity for any large health risks. I also can confirm that I do not have diabetes. Partner wise, I did not have sex for the first five to six years of having one, nor did I have any sexual contact to include oral. I did not notice any change once I started having sexual partners after. I was always careful to wear a condom though. I only am bringing it up now because I was asked today by my doctor (during a routine yearly visit) when the last time I had an HPV vaccine was and if I had one in the military. When I could not tell him he made me another appointment to see him to get a sample and a few other things.This single wart has never grown in size, become sensitive, multiplied, or shown any sign of life for lack of another way to put it. It is small enough that if I did not look for it at the underside of the head, I would not see it at all. Surely, a wart cannot just exist for a decade?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

A single wart cannot exist for such a long time. There has to be an increase in the number.

Are you sure it is a genital wart? Were you diagnosed by a dermatologist?

Clinical photographs would have helped.

For more information consult a dermatologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Thank you doctor,

I have never had it formally examined. It never caused me any trouble and passed all the general medical screening. I have had doctors glance over it during physicals. So, I never pursued the matter. I have attached a picture of it, but I am fairly certain it has been there for ten years or close to it. I examined the genitals again before taking this picture and could find no other warts.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I have seen the picture (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

  • This is not a genital wart for sure. One of the differential diagnosis can be Fordyce spots.
  • Fordyce spots are basically prominent sebaceous glands which do no require treatment. It does not increase in size. They are non-tender and do not affect sexual life.
  • You can get an excision skin biopsy for histopathology done to confirm the diagnosis.

For more information consult a dermatologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

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