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Developed papillomas and skin tag after exposing to HPV. Could this be a reactivation of a latent infection?

Answered by
Dr. Praveen Rodrigues


Practicing since :1993

Answered : 1196 Questions

Posted on Tue, 5 Feb 2013 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: I am 58 years old and have been married for 25 years. My husband and I both had other relationships prior to marriage, so I am sure we were both exposed to HPV prior to our marriage, although mutually monogomous since (as far as I know). No history of abnormal pap for me, and no history of genital lesions for either of us. My husband was recently diagnosed with a squamous papilloma on his soft palate by an ENT. During this time (over a period of about 6-8 months) he also developed 4 lesions that appear to be skin tags per the dermatologist. They are located far apart (one on each thigh, one in the skin fold where the hip meets the groin, and a longstanding one in the axillae. They are soft, smooth, and have a stalk.There are no lesions on the genitalia. I have no lesions. I have read online that skin tags and papillomas are due to HPV #6. The timing of these lesions are of concern to me, as all of them occurred within a relatively short time frame, except for the axillae lesion, which has been present for a long time. Could this be a reactivation of a latent infection? Are these contagious, if they are HPV induced? Could I have reactivated a latent infection after 27 years and infected him?
Should we stop kissing or having sex so we do not ping pong this back and forth?
Thanks for your advice.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 24 minutes later
Hi there.
Skin tags or Acrochordons are not due to HPV#6 to begin with. Papillomas possibly.
Secondly, they are not due to any reactivation or latent infection nor are they highly infectious & can easily be dealt with using simple electrocautery procedures under local anaesthesia by your nearby friendly dermatologist.
There is no need to stop either having sex nor kissing.
Dont speculate too much on which one of you could have activated a latent infection. Sometimes, there really is no sure-proof way of knowing these things.
Get them Excised by your dermatologist & ENT surgeon & lead your lives as normal.
It's great that you two have remained monogamous (since as far as you know) & wish you many more long fulfilling years of a happily married active life!
Cheers & Godspeed!
Dr Praveen Rodrigues MD

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 9 minutes later
Thank you so much for the speedy reply. One remaining question. I thought that skin tags could also be papillomas. Thanks again for the clarification.
Last question, Promise! When you said they were not die to reactivation or latent infection, were you talking about just the skin tags, or both skin tags and papillomas?
Thanks again. I will close the thread with your reply.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 8 hours later
Hi there Again.
Dont worry about hassling me...what is important ma'am is that your anxiety be arrested at this point & your quality of life continues to remain at a high level.
Papillomas are benign skin tumors that may indeed be caused by a viral HPV strain but the term is often used loosely to encompass skin tags. Skin tags per se are not papillomas albeit the clinical appearance is very similar. Hence the term acrochordons to help differentiate. The treatment for both however is excision using an electrosurgical or laser technique. Hence purely semantics in the end.
However, when i said they were not due to reactivation or latent infection, i meant the skin tags; not the papillomas as they could be viral in origin & may just be a recent infection & need not have a sexual connotation to it..either way, be done with them, put em behind you & carry on your leading your normal lives.
Do hope I have managed to convince you all is well. Am actualy chuffed that after 25 years of marriage, you guys are still at it with so much love in it...all the best & long may it prosper! Please do close the query if we are done & dont hesitate to call on mois at a later date if so desired & if one finds the time, would appreciate a rating. Cheers! Godspeed!
Dr Praveen Rodrigues MD

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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