Genital Lesions

San Francisco Dermatology

Dermatologists located in Union Square, San Francisco, CA

Human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common type of sexually transmitted disease, can cause genital warts in both men and women. At San Francisco Dermatology in downtown San Francisco near Union Square, Michael J. Dans, MD, PhD and Mark Reisman, MD, provide comprehensive treatment to manage genital lesions using medicines or surgical removal. Book an appointment online through the patient portal or call the office today to learn more.

Genital Lesions Q & A

What are genital lesions?

Genital lesions, sometimes called genital warts, are abnormal growths in the genital area. Both men and women can develop genital lesions. They may be round or flat, smooth or rough. You may have just one or two small lesions or a large clump of lesions.

Genital lesions may cause pain and itching. It’s important that you don’t try to remove the warts on your own using over-the-counter wart treatments because these medicines are not meant for use on the genitals.

What causes genital lesions?

Genital lesions are most often caused by sexually transmitted diseases, such as human papillomavirus (HPV). They may also be cancerous, though this is far more rare.

To protect against genital lesions, you should always use barrier protection, such as condoms, during sex. If you have genital warts, you can spread them to any sexual partners. Pregnant women with active warts may also pass them on to their children at birth.

Genital warts can also grow on the anus or in and around the mouth. You should always use protection when participating in anal or oral intercourse.

How do dermatologists treat genital lesions?

Dermatologists can diagnose and assess genital lesions. Your dermatologist may remove all or part of the lesion and send it to a lab to identify its cause. In some cases, harmless warts go away on their own and don’t require treatment.

To remove the lesion, your dermatologist may use surgical tools to cut it away, cryoablation to freeze it away, or laser or electrocautery to burn the wart away. These simple, in-office procedures may be uncomfortable, but have little recovery or downtime. 

Your dermatologist may also prescribe medicated lotions to treat warts and prevent breakouts. You should use these lotions as directed to keep your lesions under control. Remember, even if you don’t have an active breakout, you can still pass HPV to your sexual partner.

At San Francisco Dermatology, Dr. Dans and Dr. Reisman offer comprehensive treatment for genital lesions. Book an appointment online through the patient portal or call the office today.