If you develop genital warts and they do not cause any uncomfortable symptoms, you may not need medical treatment. Often, genital warts go away without treatment.
But if they are causing embarrassment or uncomfortable symptoms, you will want treatment. There are a number of options, including the use of certain medications and procedures. To begin with, your doctor will try topical medications. These include:
- Imiquimod – Boosts the immune system to help fight the infection causing the genital warts.
- Podofilox and podophyllin – Podofilox is a plant-based medication that destroys genital warts. You can apply it yourself at home. Podophyllin is a stronger version that must be applied by your doctor.
- Trichloroacetic acid – This chemical effectively burns away warts and can be used on external or vaginal warts.
- Sinecatechins – A cream that can be used on genital warts presenting externally or internally.
Some of these prescription medications are applied at home, while others are applied by your doctor in a medical office. If the topical medication doesn’t work, your doctor will consider other options. These include:
- Cryotherapy (the use of extreme cold to destroy warts)
- Electrocautery (the use of electricity to remove warts)
- Laser therapy (the use of light to eliminate warts)
- Surgery (the use of a scalpel to remove warts)
Cryotherapy, electrocautery, and laser therapy are in-office procedures.
Ultimately, the removal option chosen for genital warts will depend on the size, shape, location, and extent of the warts.