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.