HPV Home > Genital Warts Treatment

Procedures for Treating Genital Warts

Several types of procedures are used to treat genital warts. These include:
 
  • Cryosurgery, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the warts off
  • Laser surgery, which uses light to destroy warts
  • Electrosurgery, which uses an electric current to burn off the warts
  • Surgery to cut them out.
     
Small genital warts are often treated with cryosurgery, laser surgery, or electrosurgery. Surgery is also an option to treat genital warts, especially for larger warts, a large number of warts, or those that do not respond to other treatments.
 

Other Genital Warts Treatments

Some healthcare providers use the antiviral drug alpha interferon, which they inject directly into the warts to treat any that have returned after being removed by traditional means. The drug is expensive, however, and does not reduce the rate at which the genital warts return.
 

Expected Results From Treatment

Even after genital warts are treated, the virus (genital HPV) may remain and warts can return. This means that the warts that return within the first several months after treatment are usually from recurrence and not reinfection. It is also not clear whether treating genital warts lowers a person's chance of giving the virus to a sexual partner or not.
 
Genital warts do not always need treatment. If left untreated, warts may:
 
  • Go away on their own
  • Remain unchanged
  • Increase in size or number.
     
Genital warts will not turn into cancer. It is not fully known why low-risk HPV causes genital warts in some cases and not in others.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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