Genital warts, also called condyloma acuminata or anogenital warts are also a type of wart that is very frequently treated in dermatological practices.
Dr. Schnitzler in Zurich Enge sees both male and female patients coming to the dermatologist’s practice more and more frequently looking for advice.

Feigwarzen Problem

Genital warts are a problem in men and women very frequently seen at the dermatologist. @estradaanton AdobeStock

Table of contents

1. What are genital warts exactly?

Genital warts are an extremely uncomfortable form of warts. These warts are spread during sexual intercourse. This makes them a part of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

2. How do genital warts arise?

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is transmitted during unprotected sexual intercourse. Usually the subtypes HPV 6, 1, 16, and 18 trigger genital warts. However, other virus subtypes have also been observed. The transmission occurs through the smallest injuries to the mucous membranes before, during or after sexual intercourse.

After various periods of time, even after years, the typical warts form on the mucous membranes.

3. Where do genital warts occur?

Genital warts are found almost exclusively on the mucous membranes or the main areas adjacent to the mucous membranes. This depends on sexual practices.

Genital warts are often found in women on the small and large labia, intravaginally.

Genital warts occur on the mons pubis or anus in men and women.

Genital warts are often found on the penis shaft, glans (head) or inner foreskin in men.

Problemzonen Feigwarze

In men, genital warts often occur on the penis shaft, in women mainly on the labia. @rob3000 –

Feigwarze an Lippe

Genital warts can occur on the mouth as well as the genital areas. @Jade – AdobeStock

4. What are the special features of genital warts viruses?

The genital warts causing HPV are divided into “low-risk” and “high-risk” groups.

The “high-risk” viruses could be linked to the development of cancers on the mucous membranes (above all cervical, anal, mouth/throat and penile cancer). It is therefore very important to determine which virus is responsible for the genital wart in the patient.

There are also vaccinations to protect the population. The recommendations of the Swiss Cancer League are as follows:

The vaccination should be given before the first sexual intercourse, if possible, so that there is optimal protection. The Federal Commission for Vaccination Issues recommends the HPV vaccination as a basic vaccination for all girls aged 11-14 years and as a “booster” vaccination for young women aged 15-19 years. The HPV vaccination is recommended as a supplementary vaccination for young women between the ages of 20 and 26 and for boys and men between the ages of 11 and 26. As part of cantonal vaccination programs, the vaccination is free of charge for 11- to 26-year-old (girls and women boys and young men) in accordance with these recommendations.”

The current vaccines protect against the HP viruses: 6,11,16,18,31,33,45,52,58).

5. What other special features do condylomas have?

If they are not treated or treated incorrectly, huge “cauliflower-like” tumors, the Buschke-Lowenstein Tumors (BLT), can develop on the genitals. Removal is often very difficult, painful, and time consuming.

Treating the condyloma early can prevent worse from happening.

6. How are condylomas treated?

Many different methods can be used to treat genital warts. A combination of several individual methods can be useful.

warts freezing - Icing - Discontinue cryo treatment

By freezing the wart, the wart cells are killed. Dr. med. Hero Schnitzler uses cryotherapy among other methods to treat warts.

Method: Surgery
Procedure: Removal of the warts Special
Features: Painful, mostly under local anesthesia, long wound healing

Method: Laser
Procedure: Ablation
Special features: Long wound healing, air is contaminated with viruses despite suction.
Caution: spread of the warts to other mucous membranes (also at the laser doctor).

Method: Cryotherapy
Procedure: Freezing
Special features: Quick, easy, small wound areas

Method: Creams/Tinctures
Procedure: Immunogenic
Special features: the wart becomes irritated, and the body’s own immune system works against the wart. Long consequential use.


Autor - Dr. med. Hero P. D. Schnitzler

I am Dr. Hero P. D. Schnitzler and founded the derma competence center in Zurich Enge in 2015, which I have been managing with heart, soul and professional competence ever since.

I am a member of various Swiss and international professional societies and a long-time lecturer for aesthetic laser medicine (D.A.L.M.) at the University of Greifswald, and for the Swiss skills program FMCH laser treatments of the skin.