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Genital Warts (cont.)

Medical Treatment

There is no single effective cure for removal of genital warts. A number of treatment options exist; however, no treatment is 100% effective in eliminating warts and preventing them from coming back in all patients. It also is not possible to eliminate infection with human papillomavirus once it has occurred. Genital warts may go away on their own in about 10%-20% of people over a period of three to four months.

  • Cryotherapy: This technique freezes the wart using liquid nitrogen or a "cryoprobe." It is an excellent first-line treatment because response rates are high with few side effects.
  • Laser treatment: This treatment is used for extensive or recurrent genital warts. It may require local, regional, or general anesthesia. The laser physically destroys the HPV-induced lesion. Disadvantages include high cost, increased healing time, scarring, and potentially infectious viral particles in the air caused by the laser plume.
  • Electrodesiccation: This technique uses an electric current to destroy the warts. It can be done in the office with local anesthesia. Of note, the resulting smoke plume may be infectious.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Genital Warts (HPV Infection):

Genital Warts - Symptoms and Signs

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Genital Warts (HPV Infection) - Treatment

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Genital Warts - Causes

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Genital Warts - Prevention

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Warts, Genital »

Until the 19th century, genital warts (GWs) were believed to be a form of syphilis or gonorrhea.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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