Last Updated on Dec 08, 2016

Symptoms and Signs - Diagnosis

A patient with anal warts may experience symptoms like bleeding and itching. It is diagnosed through clinical examination.

A person may develop anal warts months after coming in contact with an infected person. The warts appear as small flesh - colored to gray bumps that may gradually increase in size. They may be single or many. They may be flat or hang on short stalks. They may be smooth or irregular resembling a small cauliflower. Smaller warts may join together to form bigger warts.

The patient may not experience any symptoms. He may complain of one or more of the following:

  • Feeling of a mass
  • Bleeding
  • Itching
  • Mucous discharge
  • Ulcer formation


The physician usually makes a diagnosis of anal warts by clinical examination. The anal canal is examined with an instrument called an anoscope so that all the warts are detected. In case of difficult to detect warts, application of 5% acetic acid causes warts to whiten after 5 to 10 minutes. A complete genital exam is also carried out to check for genital warts. The patient should also be examined for other sexually transmitted diseases. A Pap smear in women and anal swab should be tested to rule out cancer. The physician should differentiate anal warts from other conditions that may affect the anus such as skin tags and piles.


  1. Thappa DM, Senthilkumar M, Laxmisha C. Anogenital Warts An Overview. Indian J Sex Transm Dis 2004; 25 (2): 55-66.
  2. Pfenninger JL, Zainea GG. Common Anorectal Conditions: Part II. Lesions. American Family Physician 2001; 64 (1): 77-88.
  3. Maw R, Geo von Krogh. The management of anal warts. BMJ 2000; 321: 910-11.


trevortan Thursday, September 20, 2012

is there a way to totally remove anal warts?

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