Genital warts are skin growths that break out in the genital area. Like other warts, they are caused by the human papilloma virus. Once you are infected with the virus, you will develop an outbreak of warts. The Mayo Clinic says it usually happens within the first three months after you are infected, but you may not see any warts for years. Once they do show up, you will need to know your options for curing them.
Medication is the most common cure for a genital wart outbreak. Sseveral popular prescription medications each work in a slightly different way. Imiquimod is a cream that works by enhancing your immune system's ability to fight the warts. Podophyllin is a plant-based substance that destroys genital warts by attacking their tissue. It must be applied by your doctor, but the Mayo Clinic says you can buy a similar substance called podofilox that can be used at home. Trichloroacetic acid is a chemical that burns off the warts. It should only be used by a physician.
Surgery can cure large genital warts or those that don't respond to other treatments. The Mayo Clinic says there are several surgical options, such as freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen, burning them off with an electrical current or cutting them off with surgical tools. The worst cases can usually be cured with a laser. This treatment tends to be the most expensive option, so it is usually used as a last resort.
The most common home cures for a genital wart outbreak are aloe gel, vinegar or castor oil. There are anecdotal reports claiming these substances are effective. However, the Mayo Clinic says there is no scientific evidence that they can really cure genital warts. There are many home remedies sold in stores for the treatment of other types of warts. The National Institutes of Health says you should never use these products on genital warts because they can harm the sensitive skin in your genital area.
Even if you do not try to cure an outbreak of genital warts. the Mayo Clinic says they will eventually disappear on their own in 30 percent of cases. If your genital warts are not uncomfortable and are not causing you any other problems, you may wish to take some time to see if they go away before you decide to treat them. It they itch or hurt, or if they are bothering you emotionally, you may not want to wait.
Even if you cure an outbreak of genital warts, you will still carry the virus. This means you can have another outbreak at any time and spread the condition to intimate partners. The Mayo Clinic warns that genital warts are extremely contagious, infecting two-thirds of the people who have intimate contact with an infected partner. Always use a condom, even when you have gotten rid of any visible genital warts, because you can still spread the virus.