The genital wart. It is, perhaps, one of the most embarrassing and troublesome skin problems. Caused by the sexually-transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), the genital wart can cause itching and burning sensations.
If you live with genital warts, you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 50% of sexually-active people will get HPV at some point. Because so many are affected, you have a number of options when it comes to how to get rid of genital warts.
Like other blemishes, such as cold sores, in-office procedures can get rid of the warts. One method is known as LEEP, or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. Your medical professional will use a small tool with a loop at the end. The loop is placed over the wart and the doctor uses the tool to slice it out of the skin. The skin is then cauterized or burned together.
A health care professional may also treat genital warts with interferon, a virus-killing substance. It’s injected into the base of the wart several times a week over a three to eight week period. If you’re already cringing at the thought of this treatment, interferon probably won’t be your first choice for genital wart removal. As a bonus, some side effects of the interferon injections include flu-like symptoms, such as fever and muscle aches.
When it comes to how to get rid of genital warts, cryotherapy is another common method. This involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen, much like a doctor would freeze a wart on your finger. Although this method tends to reduce the potential for scarring, it is pricey. And, if you have more than one wart the costs can start to climb. It also may require repeat applications to be fully effective.
Laser treatment is another way to banish genital warts. Although it’s frequently used on internal genital warts, such as those that might be found on the cervix, it’s also sometimes used for external genital warts. Laser treatment is often a hospital or outpatient surgical procedure that requires anesthesia, leaving it an expensive and time-consuming option, especially if the warts reoccur frequently.
Surgical removal does not guarantee the wart is gone forever. Generally, success rates are between 80% and 90%.
If you’re interested in how to get rid of genital warts, a doctor may also recommend a prescription cream. Although these creams can be effective, as with any medication, there are side effects—from burning and inflammation to headaches and nausea. In fact, one prescription, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is so powerful that it may break down healthy tissue if it’s applied incorrectly. Depending on the drug, success rates vary between 45% and 90%.
Genital wart creams can be expensive, too, especially if you don’t have a good prescription drug plan. That means frequent outbreaks can really put you in the poorhouse.
However, you may not need to suffer through an embarrassing—and painful—visit to your health care professional. When it comes down to how to get rid of genital warts in the privacy of your own home, there are alternatives. Since there is no cure for HPV, you’ll want to find an all-natural treatment you can go back to whenever genital warts make their ugly appearance.
A quality manufacturer will offer methods that don’t scar your skin, like surgical removal might. A good wart remover will also cause little to no pain and discomfort. The treatment you choose should take only a few minutes a day—less time makes it easier for you to treat your warts consistently and that makes the wart-removal method more effective. High success rates are another mark of a product that works.
Whether you’ve lived through the shame and expense of a surgical procedure or the embarrassment of buying an over-the-cream, it may be time to try a new way to get rid of genital warts.