Genital warts service
You’re about to start a consultation for genital warts treatment. Genital warts is a sexually transmitted viral skin infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Genital warts treatments work to stop genital warts outbreaks and reduce the symptoms they cause.
- Complete a short medical questionnaire
- Highlight a preferred treatment
- Doctor reviews your answers and notes your preferred treatment
Important: If your preferred treatment is not clinically suitable, your doctor will offer an alternative or advise you on what to do next.
Genital warts treatments available
Treating Genital Warts
Aldara is a cream that contains the active ingredient imiquimod. It is used to treat genital warts. It works by boosting your own immune system to tackle the human papillomavirus that causes the warts. Most of the human papillomavirus lives in the warts themselves, so if you treat them, you should be able to get rid of the virus. Often though, warts reappear after a short time because, in these cases, the virus has already started to spread prior to treatment.
You must follow the instructions of your doctor when using it. It usually comes in sachets so that you don’t use too much of it, but be sure to wash your hands before and after using it. Don’t reuse the sachets once you have opened them. You should wash off the cream after 8-10 hours. If you do have sex, make sure you do not leave the cream on.
Aldara is only for external use. You must not let it come into contact with your bloodstream (e.g. through a cut, scrape or patch of inflammation) or mucous membrane (e.g. your mouth, anus, vagina).
If Aldara or condyline are not effective, some genital warts may need to be frozen or cut off, or chemically removed by a doctor.
Condyline is a liquid solution that contains podophyllotoxin – a plant extract. It treats small soft genital warts. Podophyllotoxin is antiviral and attacks the human papillomavirus that causes anogenital warts. Anogenital warts appear on and around (but not inside) the anus and genitals.
Condyline works by penetrating the wart tissue and preventing the wart cells from dividing and multiplying. In time the the wart cells die and new tissue grows in their place.
If condyline or Aldara are not effective, some genital warts may need to be frozen or cut off, or chemically removed by a doctor.
Warticon is a cream that also contains podophyllotoxin – the same plant extract found in condyline. You put Warticon cream directly on the warts. Because it works best on small clusters of warts, by dissolving them and stopping them multiplying, it is normal to experience some skin irritation during treatment.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes genital warts. Genital warts are a sexually transmitted viral skin infection. You do not need to have had penetrative sex to catch them, as genital warts transmission occurs through skin on skin contact. They don’t usually hurt and they aren’t normally dangerous for your health. They can be unsightly though and this can cause mental upset. They are contagious, and so you should not have sex whilst you have them.
HPV is a family of over a hundred different viruses. About 90% of all genital warts are caused by just two strains of the virus.
Estimates suggest that half of sexually active people have been infected with a type of HPV once in their lives, but not everyone sees warts. Some people manage to fight the virus off or to contain it. People with a low immune system find it harder to fight the virus and so are more likely to see warts.