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Genital Warts Creams
This article will look (in some detail) at the different kinds of genital warts creams - what genital warts creams are and how genital warts creams work, as well as where to get the genital warts cream that you may need.
Limitations of Genital Warts Cream
It might seem strange to begin by telling you what a genital warts cream can’t do, but it’s worth knowing.
If you start using a genital wart cream without knowing what to expect, it is easy to get frustrated when the results are not what you wanted, and the chances are you might stop the genital wart treatment altogether.
That means you’ve wasted your time and your money getting hold of the genital warts cream in the first place!
If you don’t use anything to treat your warts, the chances are they will eventually clear up by themselves - almost all warts do this over time. But there is equally a chance (and the odds are pretty evenly split here) that the genital warts won’t go away, or that they will increase in size or number.
Although there are no absolute guarantees with any genital warts cream, all of the creams covered below should get rid of the visible warts within a period of three months or so.
The main aim here, obviously, is to get rid of the wart. Warts are embarrassing, uncomfortable and are capable of causing quite severe social problems with self confidence.
The first limitation to be aware of with genital warts creams, is that there are no quick or overnight creams that can do this.
In fact, most of the genital warts creams may actually make the wart look worse, or change the colour of the wart and surrounding skin in such a way as to make them more obvious.
So while the course of treatment runs, the genital warts cream you are using may actually be drawing attention to the wart!
Some of the genital warts ointments make the skin turn yellow or white, some form a skin over the wart and others can make the surrounding skin red or swollen. You will probably want to keep the wart covered as a result, but this is no bad thing - most of these genital wart creams do reduce the chance of spreading the wart, but they don’t usually eliminate it altogether.
So even if you don’t really mind the way your wart looks, you should keep it covered to avoid spreading the virus that causes them to other people.
In the case of genital warts, that is particularly important - even if you are treating your warts, use condoms and find out more about the other health impact of the virus, especially if you are a woman. You can find out more about these wart and genital warts topics here.
The second main limitation is that none of the genital warts creams can stop the warts coming back, either in the same place or elsewhere.
This is because once you have the virus, you have it in your system for life, it’s just that most of your time your immune system can suppress it and prevent it from causing the growth of warts.
If you’ve managed to get rid of your warts with a genital wart cream, if the genital warts are going to come back they most often do so within three months, although they can appear again at any time, especially if you get run down or if your immune system is compromised.
So there is no permanent cure for warts, at least not yet.
The third limitation is that most genital wart creams cannot be used if you are pregnant - check with your doctor for other alternatives if you are.
This is more of a safety precaution than an actual risk - many of these genital wart creams alter the way that cells in the body divide, or how your immune system sees cells, which means that they might alter the way your body responds to pregnancy, but nobody has yet studied this in detail so it isn’t known. Better safe than sorry, though.
The fourth limitation: The genital wart creams listed below can only used at home on external warts, those occurring on the outer skin of the genitals.
If your warts are on internal surfaces, such as inside the vagina or the anus, you will need to get help from a trained practitioner to use topical treatments.
The final limitation is that these genital wart creams are all prescription drugs, so you need to see your doctor to get them.
There are drugs available over the internet, but as with any internet purchase, you should be cautious about what you are getting - see below.
Genital Warts Creams that can be used at home
For external genital warts (warts visible on the outside of the genitals), the following two treatments are available.
Podofilox for genital warts comes as a liquid solution or a gel with a 0.5% strength.
Podofilox works by stopping cells dividing and growing (a process called mitosis, so this is an anti-mitotic drug).
You apply Podofilox either with a cotton wool bud (for the liquid) or your finger (for the gel), and only to the area of the wart.
You have to follow a cycle of application, using Podofilox twice a day for three days and then leaving it for four days.
Podofilox is quite a powerful irritant, so you should wash your hands after using it, and most people find the warts are sore or itchy immediately afterwards for a short time.
You also shouldn’t use Podofilox if your warts cover a large surface area (more than 10cm2, about the two-thirds the size of a postcard) or if you would have to use more than 0.5ml in one go to treat all the warts, so check with your doctor which of your warts should be treated, and maybe ask for a demonstration of how to apply the drug.
Of all these options, Podofilox is one of the cheapest, safest and easiest to use.
Imiquod 5% can be used as a genital warts cream.
Imiquod genital warts cream acts by stimulating the immune system’s response to viral infections, helping it attack the cells infected with the warts virus more quickly. This means that the treated area will usually get red and inflamed (the sign of a healthy, active immune response!), but this should only be mild and will quickly go once the genital wart treatment is finished.
You would typically apply the Imiquod genital warts cream once a day, three times a week, just before you go to bed, then wash it off with soap and water in the morning.
The course of this genital warts treatment is quite long, up to 16 weeks (that’s three or four months).
Genital Warts Creams your doctor can apply
The treatments listed below may vary in name from what you can actually get in the chemist - these are the names of the drugs, not the manufacturer’s names of the product. And this is what’s available and used in Britain; other countries may have slightly different options around.
Podophyllin resin for genital warts is a mixture of several antimitotic compounds in a solution of benzoin, and it works in a similar way to podofilox as listed above.
The exact strength of different preparations is variable, but it usually ranges from 10-25%.
Podophyllin resin for genital warts is stronger than podofilox in its action, which is why you can only get it applied in a clinic, and it is subject to the same restrictions - so only up to a certain maximum amount in one day, or a maximum surface area treated.
Podophyllin resin for genital warts also can’t be used over wounds or broken skin.
Podophyllin resin for genital warts is applied by painting it over the affected area and allowing it to dry before putting your clothes back on - this is to stop the wet paint getting transferred to other areas of skin.
Some people recommend washing the Podophyllin resin for genital warts off a few hours later (somewhere between one and four, depending on who you ask and which exact resin is used) to minimise skin irritation, a common side effect.
TCA and BCA are acids (trichloroacetic acid and bichloroacetic acid, respectively) for genital warts.
Used in quite high concentrations of 80-90%, they are both quite weak acids, although still to be treated with respect.
They act by attacking the proteins in the wart cells, bending them out of shape and destroying the cells.
Once painted on, you must let the acid dry, forming a distinctive white crust that looks like frost.
Because the solutions of the acid are very runny, it’s important to let this crust form before moving around or getting dressed, to stop it running off on to areas that don’t need treating, and you are usually asked to lie down for application.
If these acids go where they are not suppose to, it’s easy enough to neutralise the acid using bicarbonate of soda or some other mild alkali solution.
You probably won’t need many applications of these acids for your genital warts, but they can be repeated up to once a week by your doctor.
Herbal Genital Warts Creams on the Internet
There are plenty of sites that advertise Genital Warts Creams that are readily available without a doctor’s prescription, and many of these are based on herbal compounds.
Like many doctors trained in the West, I’m afraid I sometimes get a little sceptical about herbal or alternative genital warts creams and how they work. That isn’t to say the natural type genital warts creams don’t work (as that’s obviously not true, some may do), but I don’t know very much about the way natural or herbal medicines work and so I’m not very qualified to talk about them.
What does bother me, though, is the way that some of these sites talk about the action of their genital warts creams in very vague ways, saying things like ‘anti-viral’ without saying quite how the drug works, or referring to ‘recent medical studies’ without telling you who published them or where you can read a copy of the findings!
Don’t let my scepticism put you off, though - it may be that the very treatment that works for you is one of those natural genital warts creams.
Heal Genital Warts is a product you can use in the privacy of your own home, which Donald, the owner and editor of this web site, believes can heal your genital warts. You may like to check them out for yourself.
Be careful in buying a genital warts cream or other medicine over the internet
The sale of medicines over the internet is under review in Britain (where I live) at the moment after a few well-publicised cases of people obtaining very inappropriate medicines through unregulated websites who were more interested in making money than providing good health care.
Interferons: A genital warts cream to be very cautious of
There is one class of genital warts creams that contain anti-viral drugs I should mention, renowned for being (at the present time, at least) expensive, difficult to obtain and prone to causing side effects.
They are interferons, and I mention them specifically after seeing a couple of sites advertising genital warts creams you can have sent to your door that contain them. Be very careful if considering buying a genital warts cream claiming to be interferon-based without the advice of a doctor.
If they are available through your doctor, which isn’t always, they are likely to be offered only if other approaches fail.
Interferons do not have any affect on warts unless they are applied directly to the wart by injection, or injected systemically (under the skin or into a muscle), so any internet genital warts cream that claims it has interferons in it that work just by rubbing it on is not being entirely accurate!
It certainly isn’t a miracle cure, either, as it usually causes itching and inflammation where it is applied, so don’t expect interferon based genital warts creams to painlessly remove warts.
Genital Warts Creams in Summary
There are several options for the treatment of warts using genital warts creams (or paints or gels), although some need to be applied by your doctor.
None of the genital warts cream can really promise instant results, but they do all help with the removal of unsightly, itchy, painful or embarrassing genital warts, and there are many more available over the internet - just be careful about what you are buying.
Main write by Dr. James D. Hogg, (BSc Oxon, MBBS & BA Hons), medical doctor, and minor rewrite by D S Urquhart.www.wartsandgenitalwarts.com is an educational web site. It is NOT designed to diagnose nor treat but to offer understanding, ideas and options for you to discuss with your doctor first.
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