Diseases & Conditions 

Genital Warts Treatment

Genital warts are also called venereal warts and the clinical name is condylomata acuminate. This is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, and is known to affect 8% of Americans. Genital warts can be quite small or even grow into big clusters and appear like cauliflower. The average warts look like flesh colored bumps and sometimes become red. They affect the soft and moist tissues of the genital area and surrounding skin.

Health Concerns

Genital warts can be treated, but they have been associated in the past with cervical cancer in women. Other genital cancers have been seen more frequently in those that have previously had genital warts, and therefore regular testing is suggested after the first outbreak.


Women will experience warts generally on the vulva, vaginal walls, cervix and even on the areas between external genital areas and the anal passage. On men, the tip and shaft of the penis as well as the scrotum and anus are common sites for the genital warts. Small flesh colored or gray areas around the genitals are the first sign of warts. Itching and varied discomfort in the genital areas as well as bleeding with sexual intercourse are also common. Lastly, genital warts can occur with no symptoms or signs at all. The warts can be so small that they cannot be seen without the aid of ocular help.


Genital warts are caused by the HPV virus that infects the upper layer of skin. There are over 100 different types of HPV, yet only a few can cause genital warts. This virus is highly contagious and is spread through sexual contact alone. Within 3 months of sexual contact with a person who is infected will cause 2/3 of people to have the condition.


If you have unprotected sex with multiple partners, or have had another sexually transmitted disease, your risk of genital warts goes up. Having sex with anyone whose sexual history you do not know also puts you at risk. Having oral sex with someone who has genital warts will cause the oral partner to also get warts.


Cancer of the cervix is closely watched due to the link with the HPV infection in women. Other types of HPV are known to cause cancers of the anus, vulva and penis. HPV doesn’t always lead to any type of cancer, but regular testing including Pap tests for women will help to ensure early detection. Pregnant women if infected, will see larger warts. If a woman has warts on her vaginal wall, it may cause the vaginal wall to not be able to get large enough to deliver a child. There are also instances where babies born to mothers with genital warts develop them in their throats. Surgery is sometimes used to prevent the obstruction of air in this case.


Removal of the warts can actually create wart-free times. But if left untreated, sometimes visible warts will go away on their own. External warts can be treated with Podofilox, a gel that is put on the warts with a cotton swab twice daily for 3 days. Cryotherapy or liquid nitrogen can be applied once every 2 weeks by a physician to rid the warts, or using podophyllin resin weekly by a doctor. At any rate, treatment will be overseen by a physician for an ongoing period to ensure flare ups are at a minimum.

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