Genital Warts (Human Papillomavirus) (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
There is no cure for HPV, but warts and cell changes can be treated. HPV infection that causes an abnormal Pap test will be treated differently than the HPV types that cause genital warts.
Genital warts caused by the most common types of human papillomavirus (HPV) may go away on their own without treatment. For this and other reasons, experts sometimes have different approaches to treating genital warts.
Types of treatment
Treatments for genital warts include medicines, freezing, laser, or surgery.
The type of medical treatment for genital warts will depend on:
Doctors often recommend medicine applied to warts (topical drug treatment) as the first choice of treatment. A doctor will apply the medicines that have a high risk of causing damage to the skin around the warts. You can apply others at home.
Caution: Do not use nonprescription wart removal products to treat genital warts. These products are not intended to be used in the genital area and may cause serious burning.
Surgery and other treatment
Surgery to remove genital warts may be done when:
What to think about
Without treatment, external genital warts may remain unchanged, increase in size or number, or go away. Studies show that no one treatment is completely successful because there is no cure for genital warts. All treatments have advantages and disadvantages. The benefits and effectiveness of each treatment need to be compared with the side effects and cost.
A biopsy of warts that do not go away on their own or after treatment is often done to rule out precancerous or cancerous conditions.
Several choices of treatment for pregnant women have been found to be effective and safe, including trichloroacetic acid (TCA), cryotherapy, and surgery.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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