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Q. Is this brown spot I developed, a wart or a symptom of HPV?

Answered by
Dr. Ashwini V Swamy
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 17, 2018 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

A few months ago, a doctor told me that I had a genital wart. It looked like a flat mole to me. Eventually, it was removed. I want to know if this brown spot I developed recently is also a wart or a symptom of HPV.

Dr. Ashwini V Swamy

Dermatology Venereology


Welcome to

Genital wart is caused by a virus, human papillomavirus (HPV). It is contagious, can spread from one person to another and can also spread to surrounding areas of the skin. I saw the picture (attachment removed to protect patient identity). It looks like a flat brown macule.

The wart will have a rough surface with finger-like projections or cauliflower-like. During the initial stage, when it starts to appear, it will be flat. Later, it becomes elevated and rough. I am afraid I am not able to say if it is a wart or not because the picture is becoming blurred when I try to zoom in to appreciate the finer details. Thedermoscope examination will reveal the features. A mole will have pigmentation in a pattern, where dotted vessels are seen if it is a wart.

For more information consult a venereologist online -->

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Thank you doctor,

I have attached clearer pictures. Please let me know if this helps. I first saw the brown spot around few days back.

Dr. Ashwini V Swamy

Dermatology Venereology


Welcome back to

Thanks for adding more pictures. I did review them, but I did not mean to ask for more pictures with better clarity.

It looks more like a flat macule, features more consistent with mole. Please understand that it is extremely difficult to distinguish between early wart and mole just with pictures no matter how clear they are. I strongly feel dermoscopy examination is necessary to make sure that it is not a wart at an early stage. Dermoscope has polarised light, that enhances the features of skin lesions making diagnosis accurate which seems necessary in your case.

Benign mole has very negligible growth and is harmless. Whereas wart grows considerably faster. If you do spot another such lesion or if you see this lesion becoming large/rough then it is absolutely necessary for you to visit a dermatologist in person and get appropriate treatment. Take care.

For more information consult a venereologist online -->

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Is this brown spot I developed, a wart or a symptom of HPV?
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