Genital Warts Treatment

Genital Warts Treatment NYCGenital warts aren’t exactly a subject that everyone is comfortable discussing. But if they’re a part of your life — and at least 33 percent of the American population has them — it’s important you understand the treatment options available to you. Even if your warts seem to disappear on their own, the virus that caused them is still present and you will get them again.

A knowledgeable and skilled NYC dermatologist can help you through this unsettling time in your life. Skin specialists can treat the virus and remove your genital warts. It starts with a confirmed diagnosis. After your diagnosis, your dermatologist will help you select the most effective course of action.

All symptoms, potential procedural/surgical options should always be discussed with your physician after a thorough consultation and examination  for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

The Shock of Discovery

Finding out that you have genital warts is only the first step. While you’re likely experiencing some emotional stress about your diagnosis, you need to understand that the human papillomavirus (HPV) that’s caused your warts can cause other problems as well. To protect your health, follow up with a dermatologist to get a biopsy from your warts. The HPV that caused your warts is also a leading cause of several types of cancer.

If your biopsy rules out cancer, it’s time to begin focusing on the best way to deal with your situation. Your New York City dermatology doctor focuses on addressing your individual needs. The treatments aren’t universally effective or ideal for every individual, so your treatment plan should be custom-fit to suit your condition and lifestyle.

Treatment Options

Do not attempt to treat your genital warts with over-the-counter medications. Your genital areas are too sensitive for these products, which could severely damage your delicate skin. Instead, consult with a dermatologist in New York. Some of the options available to you, from least invasive to most, include:

  • Topical medications
  • Cryotherapy
  • Electrocautery
  • Laser treatment
  • Surgical excision

Topical Medications

Your dermatologist may prescribe you a drug that you can apply to the affected areas yourself. This type of treatment requires you to dab on the medication, not spread it around like suntan lotion. But topicals are easy to apply.

The most common topical medications are podofilox — brand name: Condylox — and trichloroacetic acid — also known as TCA. They’re formulated to attack and kill the wart tissue. Another topical medication is called imiquimod — brand names: Aldara, Zyclara. This cream stimulates your body’s immune system and encourages it to fight the virus on its own.


In cryotherapy, your dermatologist in Manhattan uses liquid nitrogen to freeze your warts. The liquid nitrogen is applied directly to and around your warts. This procedure may be uncomfortable, but not unbearable. After freezing your warts, your skin doctor allows it to thaw before removing it. It may be necessary to freeze it again.

The size and thickness of your warts determines how many times they’ll need to be frozen. Often, three treatments are required. Genital warts inside of your urethra or anus usually need more treatments because it’s possible for them to block the openings. Issues specific to cryotherapy are:

  • Sores or blisters caused by the liquid nitrogen
  • Possible shedding of dead tissue


Electrocautery involves the use of a low-voltage, electrified probe to burn warts off your penis or vulva. It can also be used if you have warts around your anus. This method is also safe even if you’re pregnant. Your dermatologist in New York City may use either local or general anesthesia, depending on the severity of your case.

The procedure manages to remove your warts with very little loss of blood by sealing blood vessels at the same time it removes the warts. But it’s most often used on smaller areas. Studies have shown that warts were less likely to return when removed with electrocautery than with any other type of treatment.

You’re given antibiotics and pain medication for the several days following this procedure. Contact your NYC dermatologist if you experience any signs of infection.

Laser Treatment

Lasers use an intense beam of light to treat a variety of issues, including genital warts. An outpatient procedure, a laser treatment is safe to use if you’re pregnant. Depending on the location and severity of your warts, your dermatologist in Manhattan may choose to use local or general anesthesia.

In cases where medicine has failed, lasers are an option. Lasers may also be used for women with abnormal cervical cells. Issues specific to laser treatment include:

  • Sores in the treated area
  • Tissue that may stick together
  • Shedding of dead tissue
  • Laser treatment of your urethra may affect your urine stream

Surgical Excision

Depending on where your warts are located, there are a couple different techniques for removing them surgically. Visible warts around your anus or on your penis or vagina can be removed with a scalpel in a simple procedure. If your warts are on your cervix, they can be removed by a loop electrosurgical excision procedure or LEEP.

This surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Local anesthetic is used to numb the area, surrounding your warts, which your dermatologist removes. Stitches may or may not be used to close the incisions, depending on the size and depth of the incision.

Surgery is a last option, used in cases where warts are widespread or have returned after other treatments. It’s a highly effective method, usually only requiring a single treatment. It can, however, be more painful than other procedures and require a longer recovery period.

Following Your Procedure

It’s possible that there may be a reoccurrence of symptoms. More than one treatment — and in some cases, more than one kind of treatment — may be necessary to fully rid yourself of genital warts. Following the medical procedures listed above, it’s normal to experience:

  • Swelling, mild pain, redness, or irritation
  • Longer healing time if a larger area was treated
  • Some scarring

After your procedure, you should be able to return to your normal activities in a day or two with extremely minor discomfort. You must refrain from sex until you are healed and no longer sore, which typically takes one to three weeks, depending on the location and number of warts removed, as well as the size of the area treated. Full recovery time may take two to four weeks.

Side effects are rare, but you may develop an infection or not be healing properly. Call your dermatologist if you notice:

  • Fever
  • Bad smells or odors
  • Discharge
  • Prolonged bleeding

Even with treatment, your symptoms may return. Even without symptoms, it’s possible for you to spread HPV to your sexual partners. Talk to you top dermatologist in Manhattan for more information about your genital warts.

All symptoms, potential procedural/surgical options should always be discussed with your physician after a thorough consultation and examination  for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Genital Warts Treatment? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, award winning, top dermatologist in Manhattan, Dr. James Taft of Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, please contact our Midtown NYC office for consultation with cosmetic and laser dermatologist.

Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
Dr. James Taft (Laser Cosmetic Dermatology of NY)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 411
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 889-2402

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class dermatologist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.