Genital warts, which are also called venereal warts, are a highly contagious sexually
transmitted disease. They appear as grey or flesh-colored tiny cauliflower-shaped
lesions that may be flat or raised. Genital warts are usually small, around 2 millimeters
in diameter, but they may grow in large clusters and expand into huge masses around
the genital and anal area. They may also develop in the mouth and throat areas of
individuals who have engaged in oral sex with an infected partner.
Human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus responsible for genital warts, may lie dormant
in our system for as short as a few weeks to as long as several years. Thus, the
symptoms of genital warts may take a long time to manifest. This makes it very difficult
to pinpoint whether or not you are carrying the virus so the best way to avoid contracting
it or infecting other people with it is to visit your doctor for regular check-ups.
Your doctor will advise you on the best treatment plan for you depending on your
medical history and the size and location of your genital warts.
Your doctor may recommend prescription treatments for genital warts that have been
proven to be effective in getting rid of the warts. These prescription treatments,
when used in conjunction with other medical procedures such as cryosurgery (freezing)
or electrocautery (burning), will provide you with the most effective method of treatment.
You should bear in mind, however, that no cure has been found for HPV. What the treatments
can guarantee you is the elimination of the warts and not of the virus. Thus, genital
warts may resurface even after a successful treatment.
One prescription treatment that your doctor may advise you use is imiquimod. This
is a cream that boosts your immune system so that it can combat HPV better. You put
it directly onto your genital warts thrice a week for four months. Studies have shown
that imiquimod completely gets rid of genital warts in 50 percent of cases. This
cream is easy to use and does not pose the risk of harmful side effects.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is another prescription treatment that is used to eliminate
genital warts. It is a very potent agent so it should be administered properly and
with precision to your genital warts in order to avoid damaging the nearby healthy
tissue. This treatment can only be done in the doctor’s office. It is recommended
that you have several weekly sessions done in order to fully rid your genital region
Podofilox is a liquid or gel that you directly apply to your warts. It is recommended
that you do this twice a day and thrice a week for up to one month. Similar to imiquimod,
this prescription treatment is easy to use and hence may be administered at home.
Studies have shown that it clears warts in 65 percent of cases.
There are many prescription treatments for genital warts that are available, but
you should consult a doctor first before you use any of them.