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Procedures for Treating Venereal Warts

Several types of procedures are used for treating venereal 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 venereal warts are often treated with cryosurgery, laser surgery, or electrosurgery. Surgery is also an option to treat venereal warts, especially for larger warts, a large number of warts, or those that do not respond to other treatments.

Other Treatments for Venereal Warts

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

Expected Results From Venereal Warts Treatment

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