Authored by Lori A. Boardman, MD and Colleen Kennedy Stockdale, MD
Spiked (acuminate) warts were recognized as abnormalities of the genitalia in ancient Greece and Rome. These lesions taper gradually to a sharp point. They were called "acuminate" because of their similarity to the tips of certain leaves such as those of the olive tree. These spiked growths tend to fuse with individual contiguous lesions to produce a knuckle or cauliflower shaped (condylomatous) lesion. The term "Condyloma" refers to the "fig shape" of genital warts, a result of fusion or aggregation of individual acuminate growths (papillomas). Genital warts are now known to be caused by the papillomaviruses, some of which are oncogenic viruses.