We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Genital Lesions?

By Lindsay Kahl
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The term "genital lesions" can be used to describe any sores, warts or other blemishes that appear on the male or female genitalia. Lesions can vary widely in color and appearance. In some cases, people who have these lesions are embarrassed and fail to seek treatment.

Genital lesions are most often caused by sexually transmitted diseases or infections. Herpes, a viral infection, is one of the more well-known diseases that can cause lesions. Not all people with herpes experience sores, but those who do experience them develop painful, fluid-filled blisters around, on or in the genitals. The blisters eventually burst and leave ulcers that can take several weeks to heal.

Syphilis, a bacterial infection, is another common sexually transmitted disease that can cause these lesions. The appearance of small, painless sores is the first recognizable symptom of the disease. These sores go away independently in a matter of weeks, but it is crucial to receive treatment for the underlying disease, because the infection spreads throughout the body.

Genital warts, another type of lesion, are commonly caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the most widespread sexually transmitted infection. Lesions can appear on the outer genitalia or even inside the vagina or cervix for women. Some other less common sexually transmitted diseases that can cause lesions are molluscum contagiosum, granuloma inguinale and chancroid.

For women, the vulva can be a site for precancerous lesions that appear as patches. Women can develop different types of skin cancer on the vulva, including melanoma or carcinomas. Other, non-cancerous cysts can develop for men or women.

A doctor can sometimes diagnose the cause of the lesions by visual examination and description of symptoms. Typically, the patient will have to undergo a physical examination and answer questions regarding medical history. The physician might take a sample of the tissue for a biopsy or a sample of the fluid from a blister or ulcer. In some cases, the doctor might recommend further testing, such as a complete blood count, a blood differential or a rapid plasma reagin test.

Treatment for genital lesions varies and is based on the cause. Some lesions can be treated with a topical medication or removed by a physician. If they are caused by a sexually transmitted disease, the patient might have to take antiviral drugs or antibiotics. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor might recommend that the patient avoid sexual contact for a period of time.

If an individual has genital lesions of any kind, he or she should contact a health care provider. It is important to discover the underlying cause of the lesions in case specific treatment is necessary. Some of the conditions that can cause these lesions might lead to serious complications.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By CarrotIsland — On Oct 09, 2010

@gardenturtle:

According to a recent national study to determine how common genital herpes is in the United States, about one out of six people are infected with the disease. Nationwide that is about 16.2%. This particular study was for ages 14 to 49. These numbers have remained stable over the last ten years.

It is more common in women (one out of five) than it is in men (one out of nine). However, transmission from an infected male to his female partner is more likely than from a female who is infected to her male partner.

By GardenTurtle — On Oct 09, 2010

Is genital herpes very common?

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.