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Genital Warts: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Genital wart is a grey or flesh colored growth in the genital and anal region and is the most common sexually-transmitted disease (STD). They are caused due to an infection by a subgroup of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) and generally do not cause many symptoms. But they can be itchy, unsightly and even painful. If avoided, another subgroup of HPVs can cause cervical cancer in women. So, persons with genital warts are must go for a medical advice before commencing the treatments. The treatment for this condition may take a long time. Although there is no treatment to remove the human papilloma virus completely they can be treated by your doctor in case there is an outbreak with the condition. The treatment procedures include medication, Cryotherapy, surgical excisions, electrocautery, laser treatments or burning with some acidic solutions. To treat the warts it is important to know the location, changes in the warts, number of warts, their size, the cost of treatment, side effects and doctor’s expertise. When you have decided to take the medical advice for your genital warts you must tell your health care provider whether you are pregnant or going to be one as treatments would be specific in that case, whether usage of caps, condoms or diaphragms would get affected if creams or ointments are used for the treatment and you must also avoid bubble baths and perfumed soaps which may cause skin irritation. Treatment advice from a random pharmacy is a big no. It is also advisable to abstain from sexual activity as this may cause the chance of spreading it to your partner and from smoking too.

How is the treatment done?

Genital warts can be treated by using several methods as medication, Cryotherapy, surgical excisions, electrocautery, laser treatments or burning with some acidic solutions. In Medication doctors prescribe several creams, solutions or ointments for treatment. To exemplify, Imiquimod is a cream to be applied on the warts to enhance the person’s immune system to fight their growth. It is good to avoid sexual contact during your treatment as it may weaken the condoms or diaphragms affecting your partner’s skin. Sinecatechins cream is basically a green tea extract whose 15% is applied on the lesions at least thrice a day for upto 16 weeks. A plant based resin called Podophyllin and podofilox are solution based medicines applied on the warts to destroy them. After the application the area needs to get air dried before it comes in contact with clothing. Application of 80% to 90% of Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or bichloroacetic acid (BCA) weekly on your genital warts by the physicians has proved to be effective. You can also treat the warts by injecting them with 5-flurouracil epinephrine gel. Medications must not be given for pregnant women or those who are going to be pregnant. Sometimes, like during your pregnancy, you may need surgery for your genital warts removal. So, surgery involves freezing with liquid nitrogen called cryotherapy wherein a blister is formed around your wart and eventually the lesions get dried up shed with appearance of new skin. Warts can also be treated using laser technology where persistent warts can be removed by an intense light ray. This treatment is usually expensive. You can also get your lesions removed by simply getting themcut off by your physician after using a local or general anesthesia. Electrocautery is a procedure in which the warts are got rid by electric currents.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Genital warts are treated when they start causing you discomfort. When they become itchy, painful, giving burning sensation and their unsightly nature make you freak outcausing emotional distress, you must visit your physician for medication or surgery, whichever applicable, as soon as possible. Pregnant women with genital warts are also required to consult their doctor for treatment. Also, when you have sexual contact with a person infected with these warts are bound to develop them within about three weeks. Sexual contact without barrier protection, early age sex and multiple sex partners are also indirectly responsible for developing genital warts.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If the genital warts are not very prominent and do not cause any discomfort to you, you need not take such heavy medications or surgical options. Maintaining proper hygiene, taking care about using barrier protection during sex and avoiding sex with infected partner will help you keep genital warts at bay.

Are there any side effects?

Medication or surgery for treatment of genital warts does bring on side effects with them. Application of Imiquimod (Aldara) causes redness of the skin along with blisters, body aches, fatigue, rashes and cough. Sinecatechins (Veregan) have side effects on the skin causing reddening, burning, pain and itching. Podophyllin and podofilox are not for pregnant women and can cause mild skin irritation, aches and sores. Also, if too much of the ointment is used or is not let air dried, it could spread to other areas and thereby cause side effects. Side effects of surgery are mainly pain and swelling of the area. Laser treatment causes scarring of the skin.You can develop fistula if you have anal warts which require surgery for treatment.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Genital warts normally reappear after treatment, within first three months. Once your warts are treated you need to develop a few good habits to avoid their come back. The foremost step is to maintain proper hygiene, keep the area clean and avoid scratching it. If the area feels swollen or if it hurts then a cold pack may soothe it or over-the-counter medicine can also be taken. You should also wash your hands each time you touch your genital warts and lastly avoid sex if you feel uncomfortable and till they are completely gone. Women must regularly go for Pap tests whether vaccine has been taken or not.

How long does it take to recover?

It takes about several weeks to months or even year to completely recover and totally get rid of the warts but they may also relapse which occurs more often. Some people can never get cleared of them in their life.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The normal consultation fees for treatment of genital warts ranges between Rs.200 to Rs.2000. The treatment involves certain tests like PAP Test and HPV Test wherein PAP Test is charged somewhere around Rs. 200 to Rs. 1,500 and the HPV Test cost around Rs.2,000. 12.5 mg of Imiquimod cream cost around Rs. 268.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

No the results of genital warts’ treatment in not permanent and has more than 50% chance of getting relapsed.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

If the symptoms of your genital warts are not very prominent and do not cause you much discomfort it is not necessary to get a treatment done. You can maintain simple hygiene, abstain from sexual contact, always use barrier protection like condoms while sex, wash hands every time you touch the warts and avoid rubbing the affected area.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have genital warts on my vagina till one month. My vdrl report is positive but tpha negative. M using imiquad. Its working but too slowly.

General Surgeon, Coimbatore
Cryotherapy gives good results wen used over vaginal wart. Then inspite if t persists surgical removal is better option if they r multiple.

Hello doctor I recently visited a dermatologist with issues of penis burning. I was told I have peno dynia. Could you tell me the reason for peno done as I had redness and burning sensation with blisters 3 years ago got treatment wherein I was told I have genital warts. Will I be cured. Can I have baby. Please help me.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. I can understand. Please don't be panic but be serious about the symptoms. Consult your urologist for physical investigation. Please provide more information so that we can start the diagnosis process and the treatment. I am here to hel...
1 person found this helpful

I have been diagnosed with genital warts and doctor asked me to do the vdrl test. Will the test result turn out to as positive as I have genital warts?

Graduate of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (GAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Delhi
Genital warts a sexually transmitted infection due to human papillomavirus, genital warts are spread from sexual skin-to-skin contact so please maintain hygiene & avoid any sexual contact, we remove this genital wart by radio-frequency machine & t...

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