If you find that you have genital warts, you will no doubt want to get rid of them in no time because they are not only unsightly, but can also be very itchy and irritating. Thankfully, they can be treated and there are two main techniques for ensuring they go away: topical treatment and physical ablation. The former involves the application of creams, lotions and chemicals, while the latter consists of surgical removal of ways using techniques including lasers or electricity.
Podophyllotoxin is generally administered to people who have a cluster of small warts. The liquid effectively poisons the cells of the wart after being applied with a special stick, which ensures the right dosage is delivered. Due to the substance’s toxic effect, it may cause some irritation to the individual’s skin. The treatment is given in cycles with those suffering from the warts initially required to treat the affected spot twice a day for three days and then followed by four days off. This cycle is typically repeated about four to five times.
Imiquimod is a cream used if you have quite large warts on your genitals. It does not work as directly as podophyllotoxin, instead stimulating the body’s immune system into attacking the warts. The treatment is not so intensive either, only requiring application three times a week. However, you do have to leave it on the warts for around six to ten hours before washing if off. The impact of imiquimod is slow to manifest itself, taking a few weeks before symptoms begin to go away. However, there are mild side effects that tend to arise, such as swelling, headaches, burning or itching sensations and hardened or flaky skin. These should go away within two weeks after treatment has concluded.
The last of the topical treatments is the more ominous sounding trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which is used on very hard, small warts and women suffering from the condition who are pregnant, given that is considered the least risky way to get rid of them. TCA attacks the proteins inside the wart’s cells. However, the acid is quite strong and if it is not applied properly, it can lead to healthy skin around the wart becoming damaged. Therefore, those being treated with TCA tend to go to see a doctor or nurse once a week who will apply it. Be warned that TCA can be very painful for the first few minutes after being administered, causing an intense burning sensation.