Consult your doctor about surgical options. Your doctor may suggest these options when large numbers of warts are present or a large area is affected. Your doctor may also recommend one of these options if you’ve had several recurrences of HPV warts.
No treatment is universally effective at eradicating viral warts. In children, even without treatment, 50% of warts disappear within 6 months, and 90% are gone in 2 years. They are more persistent in adults but they clear up eventually. They are likely to recur in patients that are immune suppressed, eg, organ transplant recipients. Recurrence is more frequent in tobacco smokers.
Treatment depends on the size and location of the warts. Even though the warts may be removed, there may still be some virus remaining in the skin, which is why the warts often return. Some of the medications used to treat genital warts cannot be used during pregnancy, so it’s important to tell your doctor if you could be pregnant.
Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without using medical treatment. It is often appropriate treatment for warts, because they generally go away on their own within months or years. But you may want to consider treating a wart to prevent it from spreading to other parts of your body or to other people. You can try a non-prescription wart treatment for 2 to 3 months before deciding to see a doctor.
Genital warts are warts that form on the skin of the genital area. They are caused by certain subtypes of the human papilloma virus (HPV), the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body. Genital warts are spread through sexual intercourse, so they are classified as a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and can affect both men and women. Genital warts also are known as condyloma acuminata or venereal warts. They can develop anywhere near the vagina, cervix, genitals or rectum.
An 80% to 90% solution of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or bichloracetic acid (BCA) can also be applied weekly by a physician to the lesions. Injection of 5-flurouracil epinephrine gel into the lesions has also been shown to be effective in treating genital warts.
Routine testing (also called ‘screening’) to check for HPV or HPV-related disease before there are signs or symptom, is not recommended by the CDC for anal, penile, or throat cancers in men in the United States. However, some healthcare providers do offer anal Pap tests to men who may be at increased risk for anal cancer, including men with HIV or men who receive anal sex. If you have symptoms and are concerned about cancer, please see a healthcare provider.
cream or liquid: you can usually apply this to the warts yourself a few times a week for several weeks, but in some cases you may need to go to the clinic every week for a doctor or nurse to apply it – these treatments can cause soreness, irritation or a burning sensation
You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex. HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms.
Do you have a severe infection or cancer, or are you taking drugs that damage your immune system? Infections such as HIV/AIDS reduce the body’s ability to fight infections. Blood cancers such as leukemia alter our immune cells and cause them to be dysfunctional. Drugs such as steroids reduce our immune system over time.
Age & cancer — HPV is responsible for approximately 63% of penile cancer in the USA. The median age of diagnosis is 68 years old but can be as early as in your 30s. If you observe other symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, blood from your penis, lumps on your penis, velvety rash, hardened penile skin, and smelly discharge, then a visit to the doctor is urgent.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a procedure that treats precancerous cells, in addition to other types of cancer cells. The medical treatment does this with the help of a photosensitizing drug and a light source that activates the applied drug, destroying cancer cells. PDT is approved to treat non-small cell lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and Barrett’s esophagus. It’s used to treat actinic keratosis, as well as acne, rosacea, skin cancer, sun damage, oily skin, wrinkles, warts, psoriasis, and enlarged sebaceous glands.
Side effects from the vaccines are usually mild and include soreness at the injection site (the upper arm), headaches, low-grade fever or flu-like symptoms. Sometimes dizziness or fainting occurs after the injection, especially in adolescents.
Genital warts are sexually transmitted infections. They are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). They account for a very large percent of sexually transmitted infections. In fact, they rank second in commonality after chlamydia. They occur in men as well as women. However, studies have shown that women are more susceptible than men. Treatment for genital warts is available. But unless the human papilloma virus is directly dealt with, infections will keep on coming back.
Formal surgical procedures, performed by a specialist under general anesthesia, may be necessary for larger or more extensive warts, intra-anal warts, or warts in children. It carries a greater risk of scarring than other methods.
Cantharidin: This substance, an extract of a blister beetle and applied to the skin, forms a blister around the wart. After cantharidin is applied, the area is covered with a bandage. The blister lifts the wart off the skin.
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual contact. In women, symptoms include a yellow vaginal discharge, burning or frequent urination, and redness, swelling, burning and itching of the vaginal area. Gonorrhea can be treated with injectable (penicillin) or oral medications.
Most of the time, genital warts appear in moist areas (e.g. in or around the vagina, anus or groin) and do not cause discomfort or pain. In rare cases, they can be itchy, hurt a bit or bleed – especially if you them.
This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.
Warts are easily spread by direct contact with a human papillomavirus. You can infect yourself again by touching the wart and then touching another part of your body. You can infect another person by sharing towels, razors, or other personal items. After you’ve had contact with HPV, it can take many months of slow growth beneath the skin before you notice a wart.
Your risk of infection. Treatment can sometimes cause infection. If you have an impaired immune system or a condition such as diabetes or peripheral arterial disease, discuss your increased risk of infection with your doctor. You may need to take special precautions.
Bind your wart with a banana peel. Cut out a section of the peel so it’s slightly smaller than the tape you’ll be using. Rub the inside of a banana peel onto the wart and then secure with duct tape. Keep it on the wart for a day before removing. Repeat until wart is fully removed.
Gardasil 9, the HPV vaccine currently available in the United States, protects against HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58, all of which can cause cancer, as well as types 6 and 11, which cause genital warts.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler’s educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Currently in the United States, approximately 11 million men have an oral HPV infection, according to a research paper published in November 2017 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In contrast, 3.2 million American women have an oral HPV infection. (2)
If you suffer from skin warts on your fingers and you’re prone to biting your fingernails or pulling on hangnails, it’s in your best interest to quit the habit. Also, when shaving, be sure to use a sharp razor that won’t tear or cut your skin.
Aldara is a cream that contains the active ingredient imiquimod. It is used to treat genital warts. It works by boosting your own immune system to tackle the human papillomavirus that causes the warts. Most of the human papillomavirus lives in the warts themselves, so if you treat them, you should be able to get rid of the virus. Often though, warts reappear after a short time because, in these cases, the virus has already started to spread prior to treatment.
The risk of catching warts from another person is low, but they can be passed on, especially if the person has a compromised immune system. This includes people with HIV or AIDS, and those using immunosuppressants following a transplant.
The goal of wart treatment is to destroy or remove the wart without creating scar tissue, which can be more painful than the wart itself. How a wart is treated depends on the type of wart, its location, and its symptoms. Also important is your willingness to follow a course of treatment that can last for weeks or months.