Do you have genital warts, or someone you know has it? Learn how to get rid of genital warts in this article.
Do you experience itching or discomfort down there? Have you noticed small and flesh colored bumps in your genital area? If so, then you may have genital warts, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the world. Don’t worry, we will reveal to you how to get rid of genital warts in this article.
You may naturally feel embarrassed to talk about genital warts with your partner, friends or family members. The stigma of having genetal warts may be too much for you to bear that getting medical help is something you are absolutely not interested in. But the good news is that this is a condition that is easily curable, which means you don’t have to live in endless fear and agony over it!
Genital warts are common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US estimates that around 360,000 adults get gential warts on a yearly basis.
What Causes Genital Warts?
Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the collective term for more than a hundred kinds of viruses that can lead to abnormal cell growth or changes.
Out of the 100-plus viruses classified under the HPV group, an estimated 40 HPV types are known to cause genital warts. Other viruses can cause cancer, particularly cervical cancer. However, there are HPV types that would clear up without the need for any intervention.
The virus that causes genital warts is spread through skin-to-skin contact. You might have gotten the virus through anal, vaginal, or oral sex with a partner who unfortunately has the HPV virus.
HPV is so widespread that according to the CDC, all sexually active adults would get it at some point. You may even notice the symptoms years after you had sex with a person infected with HPV, so it is hard to determine exactly when or more importantly, who infected you.
An estimated 79 million Americans are said to have been infected with the virus. Every year, more than 14 million Americans will be added to the list of infected people with HPV.
What are the Symptoms of Genital Warts?
In most cases, genital warts are so tiny you may not be able to see them. These warts are fresh or gray colored that are either flat or raised. In severe cases the growths are so ugly that they look like the top of a cauliflower.
If you are a woman, genital warts may likely be found inside your vagina (Link opens in new Window) or anus (Link opens in new Window).
It may also be located outside the anus or vagina, or a nearby area. The warts may even lie on the cervix (Link opens in new Window).
Genital warts in men are usually found on the penis and scrotum (Link opens in new Window). These growths may also be found on the groin area, thighs, or around the anus.
A common misconception is that genital warts are only found in the genital area. On the contrary, there are chances that these warts may develop on the lips, tongue, throat, and mouth.
There are other rare symptoms of genital warts like genital itching, vaginal bleeding during or after sexual intercourse, and increased vaginal discharge.
There may also be some dampness in the genital area, or close to the warts.
How to Get Rid of Genital Warts
So what are your options for genital warts treatment?
A doctor might prescribe medicines that you can apply directly to the genital warts in order to get rid of genital warts. Some of the prescription drugs for genital wart remedies are:
Podofilox is a topical solution that hinders the growth of certain types of cells. It may also be used for the treatment of genital warts that are located on the outside of the body, such as the thighs, penis, or groin area.
Podofilox is to be applied on the warts twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. This should be done for three consecutive days, to be followed by four ‘off’ days. This seven-day treatment cycle can be repeated up to four times, or until there are no more signs of genital warts.
Imiquimod is a topical solution that is primarily used for treatment of actinic keratosis, a condition that is caused by overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays. But doctors also prescribe it for the treatment of genital warts on the outside of the body.
To use this genital wart removal solution, simply apply a thin layer to the genital warts once a day before bedtime. The cream must be left on for more than eight hours, and then removed by washing it with water and mild soap.
- Veregan (Green tea extract ointment)
A drug called Veregan was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of external genital warts in patients 18 years old and above. The drug was developed by the German firm MediGine and contains defined green tea extract called kunecatechins.
The ointment is to be applied directly to the warts thrice a day. Treatment should continue until the warts have been cleared, but should never be used for more than 16 weeks.
Wartrol is one of the more reputable natural remedies for warts. Like the three other topical solutions for warts, it is to be applied directly on the genital warts.
Its ingredients include salicylic acid, menthol, and ethyl alcohol. The main ingredient of Wartrol, salicylic acid, comes from the willow tree bark.
With its anti-inflammatory qualities, it has been utilized for many years for easing aches, pains, and fever with extreme success rates. It can also neutralize bacteria to get rid of warts fast.
Wartrol also contains menthol, an organic compound derived from mint. It has anesthetic and counterirritant properties which can soothe itching and skin irritation. Ethyl alcohol, on the other hand, kills fungi and bacteria. >> More info about Wartrol (Link opens in new Window).
For Additional information regarding the advantage of Wartrol and how to use it in order to get rid of genital warts you can read here >>.
Minor Procedures for getting rid of genital warts
If you want to know how to get rid of genital warts without using topical solutions, you can opt for minor procedures like electro cauterization, cryosurgery, laser therapy, and surgery.
Electro cauterization removes warts found on the penis, vulva, and around the anus. It makes use of low voltage electrified probe to burn the gential warts. This procedure is usually performed in a clinic, and would require injection of local anesthesia for pain control.
While the operation won’t cause a lot of blood loss, the downside is that this minor operation would only work for small areas of warts.
In terms of effectiveness in removing warts, electro cauterization has been found effective in getting rid of warts in eight out of 10 people. It can also stop warts from coming back six months after the procedure. Genital warts are also unlikely to return after the operation.
Like other venereal warts treatment, electro cauterization won’t be able to cure the HPV infection. This means that the virus will remain in your body after the warts have been eliminated.
There are also risks of electrocauerization, such as infection from the use of antibiotics. Pain would also persist, and you would likely be given medications after the procedure and to be taken for several days.
Recovery time would vary depending on the location and number of warts. After surgery, you can expect some swelling and redness on the area where warts used to be located. Scarring may also occur. Expect the healing process to last up to four weeks.
Cryosurgery is another minor operation for treatment of genital warts. In this process, the warts are frozen using liquid nitrogen. The tissues are then thawed, and frozen again if needed.
During the treatment, you may feel some mild burning sensation. Like electro cauterization, this operation is done in the doctor’s office or clinic.
Recovery time may vary depending on the location of the warts, as well as the number of warts that were removed. Healing would last from 1 to 3 weeks. You may experience some swelling, irritation, soreness, and even moderate pain in the area where the warts used to be in.
Cryosurgery is ideal only when the genital warts grow in a small area, usually near the anus. This treatment option is not recommended when the genital warts have become widespread.
Another downside of cryosurgery is that you can’t have sexual intercourse, no even after the treated area has been completely healed and the soreness is no longer there, for a circa 3 weeks after the procedure.
One should also avoid excessive exercising or intense workouts to minimize the risk of post-therapy bleeding of the area. For women, you may also notice watery vaginal discharge.
Like electro cauterization, cryosurgery has been found effective in the removal of genital warts. Some studies indicate that it can remove warts in 90 out of 100 cases. However, there is still the risk that warts would grow back. As such, you may have to go through another treatment for warts removal.
Another way how to remove a genital wart is laser therapy. In this procedure, laser is utilized for destroying genital warts. Local anesthesia may have to be used depending on the amount of warts to be cleared, or the size of the affected area.It may be done in a hospital or doctor’s clinic.
In most cases, doctors recommend laser surgery when medications have failed to remove the genital warts. It is also recommended when the warts have become widespread, or when the warts need to be removed during pregnancy.
Recovery time in laser surgery would last from two to four weeks, or longer depending on the number and location of the warts removed. There are also numerous risks like pain, swelling, or itching in the area where the warts were removed. You may also experience fever or notice a yellowish discharge.
Similar to cryosurgery, you can’t have sexual intercourse after laser therapy until the treated area has healed and the soreness is no longer there. You would have to wait for 1 to 3 weeks after laser therapy to have sex again, depending on the size of the affected area.
Laser therapy is not as effective as the other treatment options for genetal warts removal. According to studies, laser surgery can remove warts in about 20 out of 100 people. Again, there is also the chance that the warts would return after surgery and necessitating a second treatment.
Another treatment option for genital warts is surgical removal by excision, or cutting the warts off using a surgical knife or scalpel. Local anesthesia is needed to numb the area around the warts, while stiches would close the incisions.
Like cryosurgery, electro cauterization and laser therapy, recovery time would take up to four weeks. However, you can return to your daily activities in as short as a day after the procedure.
While surgery is effective in getting rid of genital warts, the procedure is very painful. There is also the risk of bleeding and infection, although you would be asked to take antibiotics to reduce the risks.
Surgical removal by excision is ideal when the warts are widespread.
Tips for getting rid of genital warts
Once you have the genital warts removed, doctors recommend that you use a condom during sex, so you can reduce the risks of spreading HPV.
If you are a woman, you should get pap tests (smears).
This is the best way to determine if there are any changes in your cervix, and can prevent death due to cervical cancer. You must follow up with your physician if you have abnormal Pap test.
The spread of HPV may be prevented by:
Not having a large number of sexual partners.
As much as possible, avoid having sex with partners who participate in high risk sexual activities.
Always use condoms, although condoms are not 100% effective in preventing HPV infection because the warts may be on a nearby skin that is not covered by the condom.
As you can see, genital warts may be common but it is very much treatable. You can use highly effective topical solutions like Wartrol (Link opens in new Window) in order to get rid of genital warts. Wartrol is particularly recommended if you don’t like to deal with the pain and downtime after a surgical procedure.
Or you can opt for surgery, laser therapy, and electro cauterization to remove those ugly and itchy warts – but you need to weigh the pros and cons of these procedures carefully. Why go through the hassle when there is an easy, inexpensive and painless way of getting rid of genital warts?