Why Diagnosing Your Anal Warts is Important

Why Diagnosing Your Anal Warts is Important

Anal warts might be embarrassing, but the fact is, they’re common. In fact, they’re caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), the same virus that causes genital warts. There are over 100 types of HPV, but only a handful cause anal warts.

Like genital warts, anal warts can be tiny — sometimes no larger than the head of a pin. Others can be large, or they may form in clusters. They can also cause a range of symptoms, like:

While it might be tempting to ignore the symptoms of anal warts, like any type of infection, they need medical treatment to keep them under control. 

Michael H. Tarlowe, MD, is a top-rated general and colorectal surgeon with significant experience diagnosing and treating anal warts. In this post, learn why it’s so important to have warts diagnosed as early as possible.

Simplify treatment

Certainly, diagnosis is important for making sure your anal warts are treated. Without treatment, warts can grow, itch, and cause significant discomfort. The sooner you seek a diagnosis, the sooner we can tailor a treatment to relieve those symptoms and prevent complications.

Identify potential complications — like cancer

While many warts are benign, some warts can be cancerous. In fact, the American Cancer Society notes that HPV infection is the leading risk factor for developing anal cancer. Early diagnosis enables Dr. Tarlowe to perform additional testing to monitor for cancer and initiate treatment when appropriate.

Rule out other diseases

Anal warts can sometimes bleed, but not all anal bleeding is caused by warts. Sometimes, bleeding can occur in the colon as a result of colon cancer or other serious diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Again, early diagnosis is critical for managing these diseases and preventing life-threatening complications.

Prevent spreading warts to others

HPV is very contagious, which means it’s extremely easy to pass the infection from one person to another. If you have symptoms of anal warts, early evaluation and diagnosis can help you take steps to treat your own warts and prevent spreading them to others.

Treating anal warts

Fortunately, anal wart treatment is typically straightforward. First, Dr. Tarlowe reviews your medical history, discusses any symptoms you’ve had, and evaluates the area. 

In some instances, he uses a thin scope equipped with a bright light to look inside the anal canal. If Dr. Tarlowe notices any unusual lesions or warts, he can take a tiny sample of tissue for further evaluation. 


After confirming a diagnosis of warts, Dr. Tarlowe develops a treatment plan focused on your needs. Your treatment might include topical ointments to remove the warts over time. For large or problematic warts, he often recommends a simple surgical procedure to remove them.

Don’t ignore your symptoms

If you have any symptoms associated with anal warts, having an evaluation is the best way to diagnose the underlying cause so it can be treated. To find out what’s causing your symptoms, call 954-210-7127 or request an appointment online with Dr. Tarlowe in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

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