What Are Condylomata Lata? (with pictures)

Valerie Goldberg
Valerie Goldberg
Using safe sex practices can help reduce an individual's chances of contracting syphilis.
Using safe sex practices can help reduce an individual's chances of contracting syphilis.

Condylomata lata are a symptom of the second stage of the sexually transmitted disease syphilis. Warts that appear in the perineum or genital region of a syphilis patient are known as condylomata lata, while a single wart is known as condyloma latum. Syphilis can be treated and cured, which can help the warts to clear up. True condylomata lata warts should disappear once a person is cured of syphilis. When warts remain and a patient is no longer testing positive for syphilis, the person also may have herpes or genital warts.

Syphilis during pregnancy can increase the risk of stillbirth.
Syphilis during pregnancy can increase the risk of stillbirth.

Syphilis is a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease. This bacterial infection usually begins as a single sore in the genitals or mouth. Some patients may have no other symptoms and may not even suspect that they have syphilis. If syphilis is not treated in a timely manner, a person may start to develop other symptoms, including a full body rash, fever, muscle pain and condylomata lata.

Untreated syphilis may cause infertility.
Untreated syphilis may cause infertility.

At one point in time, syphilis was considered a death sentence. Ever since penicillin was invented, however, syphilis has been treatable and curable. Anyone who is having unprotected sex needs to be regularly tested for diseases such as syphilis, according to health experts. A few injections of penicillin can be enough to eliminate syphilis from a person's body but, without proper testing, the diagnosis may not be made. Untreated syphilis can eventually cause cardiovascular and neurological problems.

Syphilis transmitted from mother to child during the birthing process can be fatal for the newborn.
Syphilis transmitted from mother to child during the birthing process can be fatal for the newborn.

Although condylomata lata on their own are just a symptom of syphilis, these warts can be dangerous if a person with syphilis continues to have sexual intercourse. Anytime there are sores or lesions in the pelvic area, the chances of spreading dangerous diseases, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), go up. Warts can cause the area to be inflamed and tender skin can crack, increasing the chances of blood and bodily fluid transferring from person to person.

Syphilis, if untreated, can eventually cause heart damage, strokes, seizures and blindness.
Syphilis, if untreated, can eventually cause heart damage, strokes, seizures and blindness.

If a person suspects he or she has condylomata lata or any other sign of syphilis, he or she should make a doctor's appointment immediately. A doctor may be able to prescribe a topical cream if the sores are causing the patient any pain. The medical professional also can conduct a blood test to confirm a diagnosis of syphilis and begin a treatment regime. When a syphilis diagnosis is made, all recent sex partners of the patient also should be tested.

The best way to prevent the spread of syphilis or any sexually transmitted disease is to practice safe sex by wearing a condom. Sex without a condom should be reserved for monogamous relationships. As a preventive measure, both partners may want to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases before beginning to have unprotected sex.

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    • Using safe sex practices can help reduce an individual's chances of contracting syphilis.
      Using safe sex practices can help reduce an individual's chances of contracting syphilis.
    • Syphilis during pregnancy can increase the risk of stillbirth.
      Syphilis during pregnancy can increase the risk of stillbirth.
    • Untreated syphilis may cause infertility.
      Untreated syphilis may cause infertility.
    • Syphilis transmitted from mother to child during the birthing process can be fatal for the newborn.
      Syphilis transmitted from mother to child during the birthing process can be fatal for the newborn.
    • Syphilis, if untreated, can eventually cause heart damage, strokes, seizures and blindness.
      Syphilis, if untreated, can eventually cause heart damage, strokes, seizures and blindness.