Genital wart (or Condylomata acuminata) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). This very contagious condition is caused by a human papilloma virus (HPV) and spread through the sexual contact with the infected person.
There is no cure for this condition, but, the warts can be managed with some medications or certain surgical procedures.
The first therapy option is usually podofilox or podophyllin. It is used as the gel or cream, concentrations ranging from 0.15% to 20%. Most commonly, the doctor will use a 20% solution of the medication. Sometimes, doctors may prescribe the medication to be used at home and these medications are much more diluted. The product should be used in cycles – use it 2 times a day for 3 days, and then take a break for 4 to 7 days. Specialists advise using the products maximally for 4 cycles.
Solution of 20% of podofilox is known to cause quite a few side effects, including: nausea, vomiting, fever, confusion, leukopenia, and even renal failure and coma. Diluted products are proven to be safer for the patients, but they still provoke irritation and the pain of the treated area, as well as the peeling of the treated skin.
Podofilox should not be used in pregnant women, because it could lead to defects of the unborn child. If you plan to become pregnant or you are pregnant, inform you doctor about it before the start of the podofilox treatment.
Imiquimod (Aldara) is a cream that should be used on the affected area. It is said to boost your immune system and help fighting against the HPV virus. It doesn’t irritate the skin like podofilox, but could lead to fungal infections, flu symptoms and sometimes provoke headaches and diarrhea.
Trichloracetic acid (TCA) works by affecting the proteins in the warts cells and thus destroying the warts. The downside is the same negative effect to normal skin cells, and because of that is should be used only by a doctor. It is not recommended to be used in the vagina or cervix, because it may cause burning, pain, and ulcers in the skin.
Although natural remedies can’t cure genital warts, they might help to boost your immune system and/or minimize the symptoms. It is recommended to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamins and minerals, to rest and minimize the stress in your life. All of these should have a positive impact to your immune system, helping your body to fight the virus.
Herbal remedies might also be helpful. Herbalists recommend grape seed and tea tree oils, applied directly to the affected area.
Epsom salt baths and cotton underwear are also believed to minimize the discomfort from genital warts.