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Genital Warts Vs Herpes

genital warts vs herpes

Genital warts and herpes definitions

Genital Warts Vs Herpes. Individuals who have genital warts develop cauliflower-like bumps on their genitals. This infection spreads through unprotected sexual intercourse. Warts can appear on the buttocks, vulva, and penis. While some individuals do not experience severe complications of this infection, it can last for a few months. That is why immediate treatment is necessary to suppress the virus that causes it.

Meanwhile, herpes refers to an infection that is more painful and severe compared to genital warts. A lot of individuals often misidentify these two infections. However, it will all boil down to the main causes and symptoms of these conditions. Many identify herpes as an infection of the genitals, which makes genital warts and herpes similar at some point. However, these are a few identifiers of each condition.

Signs and symptoms

The following list of signs best describe what genital warts and herpes are:

Genital Warts:

  • Visible warts on the genitals
  • Cauliflower-like bumps
  • Warts that bleed
  • Mild pain on the genitals
  • Itchiness on the genital’s skin
  • Soreness on the genital area
  • Burning sensation
  • Discomfort on the buttocks


  • Appearance of blisters
  • Painful sores
  • Burning feeling on the genitals
  • Discomfort during urination
  • Discharge
  • Chills
  • Mild to severe headache
  • Itchiness on the genitals


Causes and Complications

In terms of the type of virus that triggers genital warts, it is one of the most common – HPV or human papillomavirus. As mentioned, individuals can acquire genital warts through unprotected sexual activity. Like other forms of infections, HPV enters the body if one of the sexual partners do not use condoms or other protective barriers.

Complications of HPV can be severe. Besides genital warts, HPV can trigger other conditions. These conditions can also lead to penile and cervical cancer. Without proper treatment, these complications can turn fatal.

On the other hand, the herpes simplex virus triggers herpes. Individuals who do not use condoms will get this infection, like HIV, syphilis, and chlamydia. The absence of proper treatment can develop complications, such as meningitis, inflammation of the bladder, proctitis, and other STIs (sexually transmitted infections).

Treatment and Prevention

In treating genital warts, the healthcare professional may recommend topical applications or surgery. If your condition is not severe, you have the option to use creams or ointments for some relief. Using ointments reduces inflammation and irritation on your genitals. Laser treatment is also available if topicals do not work. This surgical method removes warts; however, it can leave scars.

Meanwhile, healthcare professionals prescribe antiviral drugs to suppress the virus that triggers herpes. These drugs prevent the infection from recurring. Your healthcare professional will either recommend you valacyclovir or famciclovir.


If you experience any of the signs mentioned, go to your healthcare professional immediately and obtain a diagnosis. The symptoms may not be enough to know your condition. That is why getting tested and having regular check-ups can help in identifying the problem.

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