Can Genital Warts Be Cured?
Genital warts are unfortunately one of the most common types of warts and are particularly embarrassing. The first question on anyone’s mind when they identify genital warts is “can genital warts be cured?” The answer is yes and no, but fortunately, the actual physical manifestation can be removed in a number of ways. The underlying human papillomavirus is incurable, but warts themselves can be treated in a number of ways.
Aside from the obvious embarrassment that goes alongside genital warts, they can also be tricky to deal with due to their location. They primarily appear near the anus or around the most sensitive areas of the genitalia. This makes many common methods of removal impossible due to the fragile nature of the skin or the uneven nature of the skin in those areas. The duct tape method, for example, is a favorite for home-made warts removal but is in no way appropriate for the genital and anal regions.
Treating Genital Warts
Genital warts are usually no more dangerous than any other type of wart, and can often disappear on their own when the body’s immune system adjusts itself to cure them naturally. However, this is not always the case. The nature of the afflicted area means that the most common treatments are in the form of gels or creams.
The first option used by many doctors is podofilox. It is a relatively cheap substance and is highly effective at removing warts on its own. It is also popular because the patient can take it away and apply it themselves, usually twice a day. However, the fact that it works by effectively eroding the wart means that it can often be somewhat uncomfortable in the surrounding skin areas.
Alternatively, a doctor may prescribe imiquimod, a slightly more potent substance that can also be administered by the patient. Rather than directly ‘wearing down’ warts, it works by enhancing the body’s own immune system, prompting it into action. It is highly effective, but the fact that it is forcing a change in the body means that side-effects are common, with flu symptoms being among the most regular.
Various other substances have similar effects. Many of the most used treatments are used for a variety of skin inflammations and work in different ways. An example of this is Veregen, which again must be prescribed and causes less additional inflammation of the treated area. However, it is often left as a last resort as the removal process is much slower than with either podofilox or imiquimod.
Treating Genital Warts with Surgery
Alongside medical substances, it is also possible to use some traditional surgical procedures for wart removal on cases of genital warts, although they are often used after attempting substance treatment due to the nature of the area. Both cryosurgery and laser surgery have been used successfully, but are not considered to be the primary method of the treatment of genital warts due to the chances of scarring or recurrence.
Can genital warts be cured? They can be treated and removed, and in some patients, they will never return. However, the underlying HPV virus remains, meaning that any patient has a chance of them returning. Fortunately, many proven, non-surgical methods are available for the management and cure of physical warts.