Genital Warts Treatment
Genital 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 may 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 or anal warts. It starts with a confirmed diagnosis. After your diagnosis, your dermatologist will help you select the most effective course of action.
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 who can focus on the best way to deal with your situation and 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. Some of the options available to you, from least invasive to most, include:
- Topical medications
- Laser treatment
- Surgical excision
Your dermatologist may prescribe you a drug that you can apply to the affected areas yourself.
The most common topical medications are podofilox (Condylox), imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara), or sinecatchins (Veregen). They’re formulated to attack and kill the wart tissue or stimulates your body’s immune system and encourages it to fight the virus on its own.
Cryotherapy utilizes 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. You will likely require a series of treatments scheduled a few weeks apart.
The size and thickness of your warts determine 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. The procedure manages to remove your warts with very little loss of blood by sealing blood vessels at the same time it removes warts. But it’s most often used in smaller areas.
The specific laser can be used to burn off warts directly or target the wart’s blood supply. 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.
Depending on where your warts are located, there are a couple of 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 by your gynecologist.
This surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. A 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 the last option, used in cases where warts are widespread or have returned after other treatments.
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
- Some minor genital or anus bleeding
After your procedure, you should be able to return to your normal activities in a day or two with 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:
- Bad smells or odors
- 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 your dermatologist for more information about your genital warts.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not 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.
(212) 427-8750 Manhattan Dermatology (Midtown) 56 W 45th St, Ste 819, NY 10036
(212) 889-2402 Manhattan Dermatology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St, Ste 103, NY 10011