If you think you have an HPV infection, you'll probably first see your primary care doctor. Depending on where your warts are located, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in disorders of the skin (dermatologist), feet (podiatrist) or reproductive organs (gynecologist or urologist).
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of questions to ask your doctor, including:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- How can I prevent HPV infection in the future?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
- Under what circumstances should I plan for a follow-up visit?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
Sept. 16, 2014
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- What are your symptoms?
- Where have you noted lesions?
- Are the lesions painful?
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- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed July 8, 2014.
- Castle PE. The life cycle, natural history, and immunology of human papillomaviruses. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 9, 2014.
- Warts. The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/viral_skin_diseases/warts.html. Accessed July 10, 2014.
- Genital HPV infection: Fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm. Accessed July 9, 2014.
- New guidelines for cervical cancer screening. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/pfs004.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20140719T1123120163. Accessed June 21, 2014.
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- Mulhem E, et al. Treatment of nongenital cutaneous warts. American Family Physician. 2011;84:288.
- HPV vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/vaccine.html. Accessed July 11, 2014.
- Muller LR, et al. Prophylactic papillomavirus vaccines. Clinics in Dermatology. 2014;32:235.
- Crowe E, et al. Effectiveness of quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine for the prevention of cervical abnormalities: Case-control study nested within a population based screening programme in Australia. BMJ. 2014;348:g1458.
- Luna J, et al. Long-term follow-up observation of the safety, immunogenicity, and effectiveness of Gardasil in adult women. PLoS One. 2014;8:e83431.
- Nsouli-Maktabi H, et al. Incidence of genital warts among U.S. service members before and after the introduction of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine. MSMR. 2013;20:17.
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