There are no treatments that can thoroughly remove genital warts, but there are medications and surgeries that can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with having them. After treatment, the lesions are likely to reappear at a later time. You may decide to seek treatment if the warts are causing you emotional distress, or you have symptoms such as itching, burning, and pain.
Medications that can help with the symptoms of genital warts are often applied directly to your skin and include:
- Imiquimod: This cream is used to help provide your immune system with the boost it needs to fight off warts. You should avoid sexual contact when the cream is on your skin as it can cause irritation to your partner and weaken both condoms and diaphragms.
- Podophyllin and podofilox: Podophyllin is used to destroy the tissue of genital warts and must be applied by a doctor. Podofilox affects the tissue of warts in a similar manner but can be safely applied at home.
- Trichloroacetic acid: This medication is used to burn off warts and can be used for both internal and external warts.
- Sinecatechins: Sinecatechins is a cream that can be used for both external warts and warts inside the anal canal.
If medication does not help, or your warts are larger, there are surgical procedures that you can try. This may also be better suited for women who are pregnant and want to avoid exposing their baby during delivery. Some of the available surgical procedures include:
- Cryotherapy: In this procedure, your healthcare provider will freeze your warts with liquid nitrogen, which will cause a blister to form. After the area heals, the lesion will slough off, and you will have new skin appear. Repeated treatments may be required.
- Electrocautery: This process uses an electrical current to burn the warts off.
- Excision: Another option involves cutting the warts off with special tools.
You should discuss with your healthcare provider which treatment option will be best for your condition.