Patient Information: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Condyloma (Genital Warts) Treatment
What are Condyloma?
Symptoms and Diagnosis.
The time between exposure to the virus and the appearance of warts is not known. It could be anywhere from several weeks to several years before symptoms occur. Because of this, it is had to tell when and where you were exposed to the virus.
Sometimes vaginal infections and pregnancy can cause warts to grow and spread. One study showed that 20% of women with genital warts also had a vaginal infection. Unless that infection is treated, the warts may not go away. Warts may spread up inside the vagina and on the cervix. They may also cause abnormal Pap smears. During pregnancy warts may be treated so they do not spread or grow larger. In men, warts may spread inside the penis causing problems when they urinate.
The diagnosis of condylomata acuminata is usually made by a health care provider simply inspecting the genital area. Occasionally, they may want to remove a wart and send it to the lab for further tests. Because genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease other tests may be done for other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia, syphilis, HIV and hepatitis.
Certain chemicals may be applied to smaller warts on moist areas. The most common chemical used is called TRICHLOROACETIC ACID (TCA). TCA is a clear, watery liquid that is painted on the warts. It causes a burning sensation as it dries. The warts will turn a whitish color, shrink and disappear. It will take weekly treatments for a number of weeks to get rid of the warts.
Another chemical, PODOPHYLLIN, is a brown liquid that may also be used. It also causes a burning sensation as it dries. It must be washed off with soap and water 4 to 6 hours after it has been applied. In certain circumstances, a preparation of this medication may be applied by the patient at home.
If TCA and PODOPHYLLIN do not work, the doctor may try freezing the wart with a treatment called CRYOTHERAPY, treating the affected area with topical 5FU CREAM, or performing laser surgery. Occasionally, INTERFERON injections are used if all other methods of treatment have failed.
None of the treatments mentioned here are a guarantee that the warts will never come back. Once the wart virus (HPV) is in the skin, genital warts may occur again and again. This may require numerous visits to the doctor and many months of treatment. We know this can be very discouraging, but remember -- warts are easier to treat when they are small and few in number. KEEP THOSE APPOINTMENTS!
If the condyloma do not respond to treatment, your doctor may refer you to the Colposcopy Clinic. There your vulva or cervix will be examined through a special scope that magnifies the area. Tissue samples (biopsies) may be taken for further study. The doctors can then recommend further treatment options.
If you have warts:
Peer Review Status: Internally
Last modification date:
Thu Aug 23 12:28:59 2007