Can warts grow hair? Are these genital warts? HELP

Edited , 4 users are following.

A bit of background - have had these for five months now. I've gotten a few new ones, so it's spreading. My doctors have given me mixed responses, some have said it's nothing, some have said molluscum, and some have said genital warts.

I noticed recently - and it's not as apparent in the photo because it was taken before the hair grew back - that the bumps have hair growing from the centre. Is that typical for genital warts?

I've had them for 5 months so I don't think it's nothing. I also don't think that it is molluscum, because I can't pop them. Sometimes they'll appear to have whiteheads, but they do not pop at all. Most of the time, they're skin coloured, making me assume the worst, that they are warts. But if they are warts, would hair be growing from them? If they aren't warts, is there anything else they could be?

** If you've had warts, were you ever able to clear them completely? I'm so distressed that this is something I could be living with for the rest of my life. I know the research is unclear with HPV and whether it ever leaves or just lies dormant, and it's making me so sad and anxious.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    In grown hair, for sure! image

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  • Posted

    In grown hair, for sure! image

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  • Posted

    anyone?

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  • Posted

    Hi sarah,

    Thanks for your detailed description of the problem.

    I think you have psedofolliculitis barbae. Please read the info below and stop getting cryotherapy for it. It will only make the condition look worse from scarring.

    More info here: https://dermnetnz.org/topics/folliculitis-barbae/

    Not sure how old you are, but have you been vaccinated with Gardasil? If you have, you should be protected from genital warts.

    Yes, a lot of hocus pocus written about genital warts. The time it takes to clear warts, if you have them and don't get treated, is around 18-24 months. It is definitely not a lifelong affliction. So how many old people do you see queueing in the sexual health/public health clinic for their "regular wart treatment"?? None, because the warts they might have had as young people have cleared! Enough said.

    Rgds,

    Adhari.

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    • Posted

      Hi Adhari,

      Thank you so so so much for your reply. I really appreciate it, and you are so detailed. I didn't even know what this condition was, so I'm very thankful you mentioned it. I do think that could potentially be folliculitis barbae - 2 of the bumps had in grown hairs in them, and I was able to pick the hairs out. My doctor later used cryro to burn those bumps. I had the Gardasil vaccine when I was a kid, so I should be protected against HPV 6 and 11.

      My boyfriend also does not have any symptoms, and we've been having sex for about 6 months. No symptoms of warts, or molluscum, so I feel like that probably increases the chance it is folliculitis. It has also not spread to other areas of my body, despite me using the same towel for my whole body.

      My questions is, if this is folliculitis barbae, is it normal to have had it for 5 months and for it to have spread? Albeit, I likely prevented it from healing with shaving. It is not painful, rarely itches, and I cannot pop them. I've had folliculitis on my legs before as a kid, and I could pop them, so I'm not sure if being unable to pop them changes your opinion. I've also been using an antibacterial soap I used when I had folliculitis on my legs for two months, but it has not helped.

      Thank you again

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  • Posted

    Dear Sarah,

    TBH, the condition you have is quite challenging to treat. At some point you may want to see a dermatologist with an interest in this condition to get some good advice. Despite its name, it is not a 'boil'-type infection. It's an inflammatory/foreign body response to the ingrowing hair digging into the skin. That's why you can't squeeze pus out. Of course, if it's badly infected it will discharge. Can't comment on why it's flared up recently- maybe you've been shaving more aggressively/frequently??

    If you've read the advice from the link I listed you'll see that there are a range of treatments, depending on severity of your particular condition.

    Medication does help but you'll have to accept that the condition is going to be an inherent part of your life, so you need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle/personal hygiene.

    I'm quoting from DermnetNZ below, but you'll need to make some adjustments because you'll be trimming your pubic hair, not shaving a beard!

    "Treatment for pseudofolliculitis barbae depends on the severity of the condition.

    1. Ensure the skin is well moisturised, for example using a lotion containing glycolic acid to the affected areas. This exfoliates the surface skin cells and reduces the likelihood of new inflamed spots.
    2. Cleanse the skin using a polyester skin-cleansing pad or a moisturising shaving foam.
    3. Aim to have a 5 o'clock shadow immediately after shaving. Shave less frequently, eg every other day.

      Either use a single blade disposable razor or use electric hair clippers or a razor with an attachment that leaves the cut hairs long.

    4. Shave in the direction of the follicle, not against it. Do not stretch the skin.
    5. Sterilise metal hair clippers and electric razors using boiling water, and plastic items should be soaked in an antiseptic solution."

    Rgds,

    Adhari.

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    • Posted

      I just wanted to say thank you again for helping me. I saw four doctors over the course of five months who were unable to conclusively diagnose me, and told me that I had HPV. The idea of having warts was giving me the worst anxiety - I had gone for cryro and was applying aldera, to no avail.

      I steamed the area last night and used an exfoliant. I was then better able to see the bumps more clearly, and the hairs trapped inside of them! You're amazing, thank you for giving me a proper diagnosis and for lifting what feels like one of the biggest weights I've ever had on my shoulders.

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  • Posted

    Glad to help, Sarah!

    All the best,

    Adhari.

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