A person in need of treatment should always consult with a health professional on how to get rid of genital warts because some of the available products aren’t suitable for certain patients. There are for instance several treatments that can cause birth defects when used to treat genital warts in women who are pregnant or become pregnant during treatment.
It is important to realize that genital wart treatment only removes the current wart; the virus still remains within the body and new warts can pop up at any time. It is also possible to infect a future sex partner even when no warts are visible. Sometimes genital warts vanish without treatment but this doesn’t mean that the virus has vanished as well.
Creams, Gels and Similar to Get Rid of Genital Warts
Genital warts in men and genital warts in women that aren’t pregnant and won’t get pregnant during treatment can be removed using podophyllin or podofilox. Another choice is 5% 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) cream but this cream is associated with more side effects and has been discontinued in parts of the world. Podofilox, also known as podophyllotoxin, is normally the first-line treatment due to its low cost. Comes as gels and creams with a strength of 0.15% – 0.5%. It is applied by the patient and should not be washed off. Podofilox / podophyllotoxin is the purified ingredient of podophyllin. Podophyllin is less effective and more risky and therefore an uncommon choice today.
Imiquimod irritates the skin less than podofilox / podophyllotoxin but will increase the risk of fungal infection. Just like podofilox / podophyllotoxin, it is applied to the affected area by the patient. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is considered safe for use during pregnancy but should not be applied to the vagina, cervix or urinary meatus. Sinecatechins is extracted from green tea and has an undetermined mode of action. Clearance is not as rapid as with imiquimod, but the clearance rate appears to be higher; at least in some studies.
Other Alternatives to Get Rid of Genital Warts
Liquid nitrogen cryosurgery (i.e. freezing) will kill warts roughly 70-80% of the time and is considered safe for pregnant women. An older method with a longer recovery time is electrocauterization. Large warts that fail to respond to other treatments are sometimes removed surgically. Two rarely used methods are laser ablation and interferon injection; both are very expensive and therefore normally used only as a last resort.