So why don't I have genital warts?

I have a plantar wart. On the sole of my right foot, right behind the third toe, so every step I take provides me with a reminder of the joys of wartitude. In researching treatment options I find that plantar warts are caused by HPV, the same virus that causes genital warts. So how come I only have a wart on my foot? What stops the HPV from spreading beyond my foot into other areas of my body (not just the genitals, but hands or other common wart locations)?

Disclaimer: IANAD, and the following information has been gleaned from reading literature and various websites.

You probably do have genital warts. Genital warts are the most common STD, with some studies showing incidences of up to 90% in urban areas. Except in severe cases, genital warts are invisible, meaning you won’t even know you have them. You can check yourself at home by applying vinegar to your genitals, normally invisible warts will turn white and become visible. Despite how funny that sounds, it actually is how you check for genital warts. If you really care, you can be tested by a doctor.

Do you actually want genital warts?

Try rubbing your warty foot on your genitals.

Looks like you might be in quite a pickle Otto.

Curse me for trying to be humorous.

No, I don’t want warts, genital, plantar or otherwise. Nor am I particularly concerned about the possibility that I have genital warts. The question is why would HPV manifest itself only on my foot rather than, say, travelling throughout my body and manifesting itself as other HPV-caused diseases?

And while generally I thirst for knowledge, no I will not be putting vinegar on my penis.

Wait a second–I had some plantars warts when I was in high school. And I was not sexually active (well, with anyone other than myself, that is) until much later. So I can’t see where having plantars warts would mean Otto or I would have genital warts.

You don’t wanna be called pickle dick?

So, tell us…how did you get genital warts on your foot, you kinky thing you?

I just MPSIMSed in GQ. Sorry.

What kind of vinegar? Because I only have red wine, balsamic and apple cider.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is family of more than 50 viruses (probably much more). Some cause warts. Some are a possible cause of genital cancers and (it is now believed) cancers and other abnormal growths of the eye.

They are very different and have specialized preferences: Type 1 is a common cause of plantar warts (on the foot). Type 2 causes warts on the hands. Type 6 is associated with genital warts. Type 13 causes flat, wartlike lesions in the mouth. Types 16 and 18 are linked with cancers, but several others are associated with a rare skin diseases that may also become cancerous.

The viruses may be transmitted not just sexually but congenitally (At or before birth), as well as by contact. They can even integrate into the genome, and inactive traces have been found in unaffected people (Who knows how many generations they were carried?)

Vaccines to control them are under development, but they will probably always be a problem (for the predictable future). Only a few disease, like smallpox, have the special traits required for potential eradication in our time. [E.g. smallpox virus has no known ‘animal reservoir’ to keep it around when there are no human cases]

Any kind of vinegar should work methinks, as long as it’s relatively clear.

Oh - and I should have mentioned: it is very possible to get warts from the ‘wrong’ virus in a specific location. You can get plantar (foot) warts on the hands or genitals, but those three locations are really very different biochemical, tissue and physiological environments.

Thanks, but it was really supposed to be more of a semi-humorous post, although I clearly failed. :slight_smile:

…and if my wife catches me douching my balls…then what?

Anybody know why vinegar would make the warts turn white?

Actually, different vinegars are different strengths. The distilled White or cider vinegars sold in grocery stores are usually 5% acetic acid (the strength commonly used to visualize genital warts. Clear rice vinegar, which many people have around the house is typically about 3.3%. Malt vingar (another household favorite, especially among the British) comes in different strangths from 3%-6%. Pickling Vinegar is often 10%, but I’ve bought vinegars as strong as 20%, and I understand stronger types are available

5% is the strength recommended. Weaker vinegars won’t work as well. 10% can be very irritating in the genital regions of some people. 20% is frankly corrosive to most skin and should only be handled with gloves. DO NOT put it on your genitals

It doesn’t matter if the vinegar is clear. It’s applied in a thin layer. I don’t think any vinegar made is so opaque that it will matter

This is not medical advice. I am not your doctor. If you think you’re getting medical advice on the SDMB, see a doctor - or better yet a psychiatrist. Frankly, a veterinarian might not be out of the question.

Must… leave … thread … have… work … to do…

I have to make a correction: 3% (or diluted 5% vinegar) is better (less irritating) for visualizing genital warts in women (and perhaps men). I’m not the guy who prepares the solutions we use. (What? you though I just sloshed on some Heinz, straight from the bottle?)

I thought the vinegar test is unreliable?

At home!! :smack:

If I’d thought of this earlier I wouldn’t have the lifetime ban from Long John Silver’s!!


KP said everything I could have said. Also said it more concisely and elegantly than I woulda. I wouldn’t have thought it made any difference whether you used 3% or 5% acetic acid, though. If you don’t have a speculuum at home, and I surely hope you do not, this may be hard for women to do without investing heavily in mirrors and stuff. Be sure to go easy on the mustard.

Very few people with plantar warts have genital warts too as they tend to be different subtypes. There are lots of ways to remove warts, which generally means none of them are that great. I scrape the top off with a scalpel, stopping just before there is bleeding, then instruct folks to use the salicylic acid preparations (DuoForte, etc.) available without a prescription. Cutting them out is too drastic. Burning 'em off with nitrogen or electricity is easy, but hard to do at home.

Why Otto does not have genital warts.

Not trying hard enough.