Developed by

Genital Warts

Condyloma acominatum (Latin name)

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Genital warts are caused by a viral infection in the skin. Genital warts are infectious and can be sign of sexual contact. However, genital warts can also infect by other – non-sexual – close contact. If you suspect sexual abuse of a child, the presence of genital warts strengthens suspicion.

Genital warts (condylomas) are caused by a virus and are contagious.

Genital warts are of no nuisance and are therefore discovered by accident. They are frequently spotted near the rectum and are usually clustered together. Genital warts also appear on the labia and penis. Every genital wart resembles a small (50-55 mm) cauliflower on a short stem. The colour varies from skin colour to dark brown.

Far most often, genital warts appear with adults but they can also appear with children. With adults, genital warts are considered a venereal disease, since it is most frequently sexually transferred. With children the situation is different, since genital warts are also transferred by other – non-sexual – close contact. It is unknown how large a percentage of genital warts with children are caused by sexual contact and how many are caused by other – non-sexual – close contact.

From experience, it is know that most children with condylomas, and especially children less than 2 years old, have not been subjected to sexual abuse. If the genital warts are located within the rectum or within the outer labia, there is reason to suspect sexual abuse. If you suspect sexual abuse of a child, the presence of genital warts strengthens suspicion

Condylomas are treated with a corrosive medication (podophylin) that the doctor applies to the wart several times. In severe cases, the genital wart can be removed surgically.

Click here to read about how you evaluate your child


Genital warts infect on close contact. With adults it is primarily by sexual contact and with children primarily by other non-sexual contact.

Day care:
It can take from 3 to 8 months from the child is infected till the genital warts start to show. A child can get infected at birth or by common bathing and washing. Children with genital warts should therefore not bathe with other children and towels and face flannels should be kept separately.


Genital warts are treated with 20 % podophyllin applied by a doctor on a weekly basis. The fluid is washed off after 2 to 8 hours.

What can you do?

If you have genital warts yourself, you should be extra careful when bathing the child and changing diapers.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

If you suspect genital warts.

Contact the doctor immediately

This is never necessary.