Q. Could a wart recur after 11 years?

Answered by
Dr. Gaurang Gupta
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 12, 2016 and last reviewed on: Feb 27, 2020

Hi doctor,

11 years ago, I had genital warts. As I embarrassed to go to the doctor I ordered Aldara online and it worked. My question is what if I missed a wart after all this time? I do have a few very tiny white specks on underside of the head on my penis. When I showed them to my regular physician five years ago, he said they are pearly papules and not warts. Can I trust him? Is he right? I am seeing a new partner and do not want to infect her. Please guide me.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

First I do want to make sure that recurrence of wart after 11 years is almost impossible.

Now you can get genital wart only after exposure due to sexual contact done recently.

The second possibility of untreated or remaining part of wart also impossible as in 11 year untreated wart would have become significantly large in size and would never remain unnoticed all these years.

The penile pearly papule and wart are very different condition and can be recognized by photos. If you are able send me photos of your condition I would definitely tell you what it is.

Penile pearly papule is not a disease or any treatable condition. It is just sweat and sebaceous gland which are a bit bigger in size. These are small, multiple and arranged around the penile skin. It does not increase in size, totally asymptomatic and natural thing.

Wart has rough surface. They appear four to five in number. It will appear after a sexual contact history within a month.

Revert back with the photos to a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your quick reply. My concern is I do not think I had these before 11 years ago. But, I do not know for sure. Is it possibly warts and when I started using Aldara 11 years ago they might get stopped I guess. Also, I do not see any warts at all for 11 years. Is it possible that I have one after all this time? I just do not want to infect someone. Please help.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Let me make you 100% sure that no wart remains unnoticed for 11 years. So either it is not wart or you would have got new infection recently.

  • Again I mention that no wart can stay untreated and unnoticed over penile area for 11 years. It will definitely increase in number or size or will get noticed by you. There is no matter whether you used Aldara at that time.
  • Wart is highly contagious condition so it will infect other part of penis too and will increase in number.
  • But, you might have penile pearly papules which are not much significant and no need to worry for that.

Revert back with the photos to a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Hi doctor,

Here I have attached the photos for your reference. Please have a look.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • No, these are not warts (attachment removed to protect patient identity).
  • Small multiple dots like thing is pearly papules, which is normal.
  • Although you have uploaded only one photo, I would be in favor of penile pearly papule by closely looking the photo.

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

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