Genital warts must be treated by a doctor. Do NOT use over-the- counter medicines meant for other kinds of warts.
Treatment may include:
- A skin treatment done in the doctor's office
- Prescription medicine that you apply at home several times per week
Prescription medicines include:
- Imiquimod (Aldara)
- Podophyllin and podofilox (Condylox)
- Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)
The warts may be removed with surgery, including:
- Laser therapy
- Surgical excision (cutting them out)
If you have genital warts, all of your sexual partners must be examined by a health care provider and treated if warts are found. Even if you do not have symptoms, you must be treated to prevent complications and spreading the condition to others.
You will need to return to your health care provider after treatment to make sure all the warts are gone. Regular Pap smears are recommended if you are a woman who has had genital warts, or if you partner had them. If you had warts on your cervix, you may need to have Pap smears every 3 to 6 months after the first treatment.
Women with precancerous changes caused by HPV infection may need further treatment.
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam.
In women, this will include a pelvic examination. Magnification (colposcopy) is used to spot warts that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Your doctor may place watered-down vinegar (acetic acid) on the area. This helps better see any warts.
The virus that causes genital warts can cause abnormal results on a Pap smear. If you have these types of changes, you will probably need more frequent Pap smears for a while.
An HPV DNA test can tell if you have a high-risk type of HPV known to cause cervical cancer. This test may be done:
- As a screening test for women over age 30
- In women of any age who have a slightly abnormal Pap test result