While there is no cure for genital warts, though various methods of genital warts treatment can be suggested by your doctor or dermatologist.
Treatment of Genital Warts
If you have visible signs of genital warts, over the counter topical treatments are not recommended.
These treatments are designed for common or Plantar warts and may cause increased irritation of genital warts.
Such treatments will ultimately have no effect in the removal of genital warts.
Topical Genital Warts Treatment
Topical treatments for genital warts that are available by prescription include:
- Imiquimod Cream (Aldara): a cream available by prescription and applied at home. This medication works by boosting the immune system to fight the virus, causing the body to recognize the wart and attack it, leading to the removal of visible signs of genital warts.
- Podofilox Cream (Condylox): a cream available by prescription and applied at home. This cream-based treatment attacks the wart directly and dissolves it over a period of weeks.
- Trichloroacetic Acid: a form of acid that burns the wart away. This acid is applied by your health care physician and is left on for several hours before being rinsed clear.
- Efudex: a topical solution or cream that contains the key component Fluorouracil, which is an antimetabolite used in treating certain forms of cancer.
Surgical Genital Warts Treatment Options
Should topical solutions fail to effectively remove the visual signs of genital warts, or for a more expeditious removal program, surgical options are available, which include Electrocautery, Laser treatment, and Cryosurgery.
Electrocautery Treatment removes the wart by burning it off and sealing the blood vessels with an electrically charged probe.
This treatment can be painful, but use of a local anesthesia, such as Novocain, may be administered.
Laser Treatment is similar to Electrocautery except that it uses a high powered laser to burn off the wart and seal the blood vessels, reducing bleeding.
Laser treatment is more expensive and is generally reserved for areas requiring extensive removal or for difficult to access areas such as the cervix.
Cryosurgery or Cryotherapy is a treatment method that involves freezing of the infected area.
By applying liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide to the area for a few seconds, the surface and subsurface of the wart is frozen.
This treatment usually stings and, depending on your tolerance level, can be painful.
Antiviral Genital Warts Treatment
Another, more expensive, treatment for genital warts is via the injection of an antiviral drug known as Interferon, which is injected by needle directly into the warts.
This treatment is usually used as an alternative when genital warts have reappeared after being removed by surgery.
Even after treatment by Interferon, there is no guarantee that visual genital warts will not return.
Support Groups and Emotional Help
Aside from the physical ailments and treatments of genital warts, there are often psychological effects that are felt by the sufferers of genital warts.
Feelings such as fear, disgust and despair are common among those who are diagnosed with genital warts.
Fear of contracting cancer from genital warts is a legitimate concern, but the chances of developing cancer from genital warts are minimum.
Women should have regularly scheduled Pap smears performed to monitor the disease as a preventive measure.
Disgust is a form of self guilt that leads to feelings that people who have contracted the disease will never have another relationship again or will never feel wanted by potential lovers.
This is not true, and support groups are a good way to deal with this feeling.
Despair over the permanent nature of the virus is understandable, but remember that there are treatments to help minimize the effects of genital warts and to help you live a normal lifestyle.