The Difference Between Genital Warts and Herpes

Genital warts and herpes are both sexually transmitted diseases. They are caused by different viruses.

Genital warts are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV), and herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus (HSV).

Millions of people are infected every year by these two most common STDs.

Let us look at these diseases separately so that we may understand the better and know the differences between genital warts and herpes.

Genital warts 

These occur in the genital areas and are transmitted mainly through vaginal, anal and oral sex.

Genital warts are more common among women than men, and therefore there are more works being done to prevent women from getting infected. T

hese warts are flesh-colored or gray growths.

They may be flat or occur in lumps. Thee warts itch and pain and may eve bleed. These are common symptoms for both men and women.

The HPV can remain inside the body for a long time without showing itself. Once the symptoms are noticed, it is very important to show them to the doctor.

There are many treatments for genital warts.

They may be removed by freezing using liquid nitrogen, cutting them off with blades heated by electricity, laser surgery or by a method called excision where the doctor uses the surgical tools to remove them.

There are also several over the counter effective medicines.

HPV can also attack a pregnant woman, and this will involve a lot of risks as warts may be transmitted to the baby. The pregnant women cannot use the same medicines to treat warts and need proper medical help.

There are vaccines to prevent genital warts but these vaccines are only for women, but the search is on for men also. It is best to prevent the problem because there is no cure.


This is also a highly contagious STD that has no cure. In this case rashes with blistery sores appear in different parts of the body.

These sores may appear even in the anus, vagina, penis and cervix.

The symptoms include itching, burning sensation, pain, fever, swollen glands, headaches, etc. Psychological distress is another symptom from which an infected person suffers from.

Herpes is so contagious that it may be transmitted from casual touching or sharing of the same items with an infected person.

There is no treatment available for herpes, and therefore it is very essential to protect oneself from it. It is also the responsibility of the person to do everything to prevent the transmission off the disease to other people.

Related post Understanding Herpes and The Treatment

What Are the Differences

One misconception that people have is that genital warts and herpes are the same things. Many people often think they are the same thing because of how similar the two diseases are.

Despite the similarities in the diseases, it is important to know the differences between the two. Knowing the differences between genital warts and herpes is important because you want to ensure that you are getting the proper treatment.

One of the biggest differences between genital warts and herpes is that two different viruses cause them, but sadly, neither virus is curable.

The human papilloma virus is responsible for genital warts, while the herpes simplex virus is responsible for herpes. One of the worst things about these viruses being different is that you can become infected by both viruses at the same time.

Another big difference between the two viruses is in how they develop. With herpes, you simply deal with outbreaks, which can happen at any time.

During the outbreak, you will notice the herpes lesions in your genitals, but after the outbreak, they go away.

The herpes sores will get so big and then burst, and once they burst they simply dry up and go away until the next outbreak.

Genital warts on the other hand never burst or go away; they will continue to grow until they are removed. Unless treated with the proper medication they are almost difficult to get rid of.

The last difference between the two viruses is how they are treated; each virus must be treated differently.

These tedious warts can be removed with medical cream, surgery or even by freezing them off. To remove warts, you must be seen by a doctor.

Herpes, on the other hand, does not require medical attention because they will burst on their own. However, herpes outbreaks can be rather painful, so medication can be used to help relieve the pain.

Related post Difference between Herpes Simplex and Herpes Zoster

Genital Warts Home Treatments

Genital warts and HPV infection are transmitted primarily by sexual intimacy, and the risk of infection increases as the number of sexual partners increase.

These warts are the most contagious, while common, flat, and plantar (foot) warts are much less likely to spread from person to person.

Some problems can be caused by genital warts may during pregnancy.

But before you get too alarmed, do realize that the problem is usually simply that if the warts are in the vagina, they can make the vagina less elastic and cause obstruction during delivery.

Warts of the genitals look like flesh colored masses of tissue. In some cases, they may appear as bumps. Warts from sexual transmission can be raised or flat, small or large.

Sometimes they’re clustered together in a cauliflower-like shape. These warts can get large during pregnancy, making urination difficult.

Warts on our private parts are the most common symptoms of HPV infection.

However, most HPV infections do not lead to either warts or cancer; most infections go away by themselves, without causing any symptoms.

Genitally transferred warts may or may not show symptoms.

If they do, warts may appear as tiny cauliflower-shaped lesions that may be raised or flat. Genital warts do not affect the baby during pregnancy.

Genital Herpes (wart infection) sometimes occurs as a cluster of (often painful) fluid filled “blisters” that appear on a background of skin that is reddish or slightly inflamed.

Fresh outbreaks of herpes after their initial outbreak is (we have been told) common when infected with HPV (type 1or 2) and may be associated with the menstrual cycle, emotional stress, illness (especially with fever), sexual intercourse, surgery, and certain medications.

The medical profession calls these trigger factors.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV), is the correct term for warts of the genitalia and the course of the infection sometimes is not straightforward.

Because, like it or not, they are small fleshy skin tumors of the genital and perianal area caused most often by the most common sexually transmitted virus, HPV 6 and 11.

As we have already begun to describe Human Papilloma Virus spreads by skin to skin contact during vaginal, oral and anal sex and is estimated to affect 1% of the sexually active population aged between 16 and 50.

Warts and Corns can be treated at home when accessible on the body, and not in a sensitive location.

The idea is to remove thickened, diseased skin without damaging surrounding healthy tissue, and by so doing help the body to win over on the virus by removing the seat of the infection.

In the case of genital wart problems though home care is not satisfactory, and you should obtain medical advice from the start and as soon as you see them.

Warts will not normally leave scars, though some of the more aggressive wart therapies might. The fact is though that you can re-infect yourself again by touching the wart and then another part of your body.

Cures that have been used in the past for this condition for plantar and similar warts but are in no way recommended in this article.

Warts may be frozen with various commercial freezing probes or with liquid nitrogen sprayed on or applied with a cotton swab.

Cryotherapy is often used for plantar warts and warts under the fingernails.

Physicians themselves have said in the past that they do not know how to get rid of genital warts, making it difficult to keep coming back to get genital warts removed.

Costly surgical procedures often leave scars, are painful, and require a significant amount of healing time.

Salicylic acid is the chemical most often found in over the counter products. Another similar acting chemical is retinoic acid.

Salicylic acid is commonly used to treat normal warts, and some believe that it would help their genital wart condition, but they could be no more wrong. Using home cures such as salicylic acid can only damage your body.

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