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Pediatric Condyloma (Genital Warts)

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Summary

Condyloma and genital warts are caused by HPV. The HPV vaccine for girls protects against HPV infection and cervical cancer.  But, in children, they can also be transmitted from an infected mother or other caregiver to the infant. It’s important to note, also, that if a child has genital warts – it may or may not be a sign of sexual abuse or early sexual activity.

Symptoms

Symptoms of condyloma include:

  • Small, flesh-colored or gray, raised or flat spots in the genital area
  • Several warts close together (cauliflower-type shape)
  • Itching or discomfort in the genital area
  • Increased vaginal discharge

Tests and Diagnosis

If your daughter’s doctor suspects condyloma, he or she may conduct:

  • A visual exam
  • A biopsy, or full excision, in some cases
  • An HPV test to identify high-risk types of the virus known to cause cervical cancer
  • Testing for other sexually transmitted infections

Treatment

In many patients, condyloma will resolve over time without treatment. If your daughter requires treatment, her doctor may prescribe:

  • Cryotherapy – freezing off warts with liquid nitrogen
  • Electrodessication, which uses a current to destroy warts
  • Laser treatments
  • Prescription topical medications
  • Surgical removal

FAQ's

How did my daughter contract condyloma?

In adults, sexual contact is the most common form of transmission. But, in children, they can also be transmitted from an infected mother or other caregiver to the infant. It’s important to note, also, that if a child has genital warts – it may or may not be a sign of sexual abuse or early sexual activity.

How will my daughter’s doctor treat condyloma?

Condyloma may resolve on its own, or her doctor may prescribe prescription medications or removal by cryotherapy, laser therapy, surgery, or treatment with electric currents.

My daughter doesn’t have condyloma – how can we prevent it? Or, how can we prevent our other daughters from acquiring the condition?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all children aged 11 or 12 get the three-dose series of HPV vaccine, which protects against HPV infection, genital warts, and the viral strains that can lead to cervical, vulvar, vaginal, or anal cancer.

It’s also important to talk to your daughters about safe sex, if they are going to be sexually active. For advice on how to approach this subject, or for additional resources, talk to your daughter’s doctor.

Will the lesions recur?

Condyloma can recur, and it is important to be on the lookout for recurrence over the next few years.

Resources

Adolescent & Young Adult / Gynecology

Phone:214-456-9099
Fax: 214-456-2230

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