Are genital warts contagious? Absolutely they are! People have asked us if you can get tanning bed warts and if it is possible to get genital warts from a tanning bed. It is indeed possible. In a tanning bed warts can be spread because people sit on the bed wearing little or no clothing and the hot, moist environment is a perfect place for the virus that causes warts to thrive.
Warts are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many types of HPV that cause different types of warts. Not only are genital warts contagious, all other types of warts are contagious as well. Warts contracted from tanning beds may be genital warts or other types of warts.
Symptoms of genital warts include bumpy or flat raised areas on the genitals, sores on the genitals, swelling, and itching or pain in the genital area. Symptoms may come and go, but you still have the virus even when no symptoms are present.
Remember, tanning bed warts may appear on other parts of the body as well, such as the hands, feet, elbows, and knees. These are known are common warts, and may be bumpy or flat. They may or may not cause discomfort.
To prevent tanning bed warts, do not use a tanning bed if you have open cuts or scratches on your skin. Open cuts or scratches make you more susceptible to all kinds of infections. Clean the tanning bed before using it with disinfectant and a clean towel or paper towels. Ask your tanning salon what they do to prevent tanning bed warts.
Using a towel or other object that has been used by someone who has warts can also spread warts. Make sure to use clean towels at tanning salons, swimming pools, and other public places.
Fortunately, tanning bed warts are not too common. Here are two frequently asked questions about them:
- How are genital warts contagious? Genital warts are most often spread through sexual contact. You can though get them from a tanning bed.
- Are genital warts contagious even when no symptoms are present? Yes, they are. Following “safer sex” practices helps minimize your risk of exposure.
If you have warts, avoid scratching or picking at them, even if they itch. You can spread the infection, increasing the number of warts. Wash your hands after touching your warts.
Are genital warts contagious after treatment? Yes, they are. The warts and symptoms may disappear, but the virus remains in your body. Symptoms may come back at a later time, as well.
Traditional treatments for genital warts and other types of tanning bed warts include “freezing” them off using liquid nitrogen, “burning” them off (cauterization), and surgically removing them. These procedures are often painful and cause swelling, irritation and discomfort that last for days.
Many people are turning to natural products in order to avoid painful medical procedures. Natural products don’t carry the risk of side effects common with traditional medical treatments, and may provide other health benefits as well.
When to see your doctor
See your doctor if your warts appear to be getting worse or if you’re not sure if your condition is warts or something else. Always see your doctor if the warts are in the genital area. Women should make sure to see a gynecologist once a year for a pelvic exam and Pap smear; some forms of HPV have been linked with cervical cancer, so make sure to get your regularly yearly exam and let your doctor know if you think you have genital warts.