Prescription Treatments for Genital Warts
Genital warts, which are also called venereal warts, are a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease. They appear as grey or flesh-colored small cauliflower-shaped lesions that may be flat or raised. Genital warts are usually small, around 2 millimeters in diameter, but they may grow in large clusters and expand into huge masses around the genital and anal area. They may also develop in the mouth and throat areas of individuals who have engaged in oral sex with an infected partner.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the virus responsible for genital warts, may lie dormant in our system for as short as a few weeks to as long as several years. Thus, the symptoms of genital warts may take a long time to manifest. It makes it very difficult to pinpoint whether or not you are carrying the virus, so the best way to avoid contracting it or infecting other people with it is to visit your doctor for regular check-ups. Your doctor will recommend you on the best treatment plan for you depending on your medical history and the size and location of your genital warts.
Your doctor may recommend prescription treatments for genital warts that have been proven to be effective in getting rid of warts. These prescription treatments, when used in conjunction with other medical procedures such as cryosurgery (freezing) or electrocautery (burning), will provide you with the most effective method of treatment. You should bear in mind, however, that no cure has been found for HPV. What the procedures can guarantee you is the elimination of warts and not of the virus. Thus, genital warts may resurface even after successful treatment.
One prescription treatment that your doctor may advise you use is imiquimod. It is cream that boosts your immune system so that it can combat HPV better. You put it directly on your genital warts thrice a week for four months. Studies have shown that imiquimod ultimately gets rid of genital warts in 50% of cases. This cream is easy to use and does not pose the risk of harmful side effects.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is another prescription treatment that is used to eliminate genital warts. It is a very potent agent, so it should be administered correctly and with precision to your genital warts to avoid damaging the nearby healthy tissue. This treatment can only be done in the doctor’s office. It is recommended that you have several weekly sessions done to rid your genital region of warts thoroughly.
Podofilox is a liquid or gel that you directly apply to your warts. It is recommended that you do this twice a day and thrice a week for up to one month. Similar to imiquimod, this prescription treatment is easy to use and hence may be administered at home. Studies have shown that it clears warts in 65% of cases.
There are many prescription treatments for genital warts that are available, but you should consult a doctor first before you use them.