Conventional Genital Warts Treatment.
If you have discovered you have genital warts rest assured you are not alone. It is estimated that the majority of sexually active individuals will get genital warts at some time in their lives. Genital warts themselves are not dangerous. However, the virus that causes genital warts can be a problem. If you want to get rid of these warts keep reading to learn more about conventional genital warts treatment.
Before you think about treating your warts you need to learn more about them. First of all, genital warts are caused by a virus. This virus is known as human papillomavirus or HPV. You have probably heard of HPV since there is now a huge campaign to get young girls and boys vaccinated against this virus. There are over 100 strains of HPV and at least 40 of them are responsible for the development of genital warts. In most cases, having genital warts is not the problem. The problem comes when a woman or man has specific strains of HPV that are associated with cancer.
Researchers are now saying that 100% of the cases of cervical cancer in women are caused by HPV. Cervical cancer is curable if caught early enough. However, if it is left untreated it can spread to other areas of the body such as the uterus or the ovaries. If this happens the outlook for survival becomes grim. Men can get penile cancer and anal cancer from specific strains of HPV. However, this is rare. You need to remember that just because you have genital warts it does not mean you have cancer. But women who have genital warts should definitely see their gynecologist for a pap smear to determine if they have cancer causing HPV. Now that you are more familiar with HPV let’s talk about a conventional genital warts treatment.
There are medications that are used to treat genital warts on the penis and the outside of the vagina. These medications are usually creams that are applied directly to the wart. Examples of these medications include Podophyllum resin, Podofilox, 5-Fluorouracil and Imiquimod. All of these creams have a risk for producing skin irritation, burning and pain. Some creams can only be applied by your doctor while others may be applied by you in the privacy of your home. This form of genital warts treatment can be effective at getting rid of warts but there is always a chance the warts will return.
Cryotherapy is another genital warts treatment that is quite effective at getting rid of warts. This treatment must be administered by your doctor. The most common chemical used in this treatment is liquid nitrogen. It is applied directly to the warts to freeze them off. This method has a high success rate with few side effects.
Laser treatment can be used to burn the warts off. It may be used for extensive or recurrent genital warts. This type of treatment will require local or general anesthesia. This method can destroy the warts, but it can be expensive. With this type of genital warts treatment scarring can occur. You will also need healing time.
Another type of genital warts treatment uses an electric current to destroy the warts. This treatment is called electrodesiccation. It can be performed in the office under local anesthesia. The resulting smoke plume can result in increase risk for infection.
There is a procedure called loop electrosurgical excision procedure or LEEP. This process uses a low voltage electrified wire that is in the shape of a loop to heat the area of the skin prior to separating the wart from the skin. Then the loop is passed underneath the wart cutting it out of the skin. This procedure is usually used to treat large areas of warts on the cervix. It is often times performed as an outpatient surgical procedure. It can be painful and requires a recovery time. There is also risk for infection.
All of these conventional genital warts treatments can remove the warts but a lot of times the warts will return. This is because the virus that causes these warts is not curable. HPV cannot be eradicated with any type of medical or surgical treatment. Your body’s immune system is the only thing that can get rid of the virus. In a lot of individuals, the immune system will clear the virus after a few months or years. However, some individuals may carry the virus all their lives.
If you are a woman with a history of HPV and genital warts it is very important that you have regular pap smears. This can be a life saving test. There are a few strains of HPV that will produce cervical cancer. Regular pap smears can detect these strains.
You and your doctor can decide which is the best genital warts treatment for you and your situation. Genital warts should not be taken lightly. Protect yourself and others from the spread of these warts by always wearing a condom. The best way to keep from spreading these warts to others is to refrain from sex until the warts are gone.