Genital warts refer to warts that appear in the genital area. There can be a single wart or a cluster of warts. These warts occur due to catching the human papillomavirus (HPV) from a person who is already affected by the virus.
HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection, and it is possible to spread or get these wars even when one cannot see them.
There are 100 or so types of HPV. But only a few can cause genital warts. Certain HPV types can lead to cervical cancer. Other types can cause cancer of the penis, anal cancer, or through and mouth cancer. A person can get more than one type of HPV.
Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides advanced dermatology treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding locations.
How do dermatologists diagnose genital warts?
People usually feel embarrassed by growths in the genital region and avoid seeing a doctor. However, an experienced dermatologist can provide peace of mind as the patient can get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
A dermatologist can diagnose genital warts by evaluating warts at the time of an office visit. Sometimes the dermatologist will remove a war or a portion of it and send it to a lab, which can confirm whether a patient has genital warts.
How do dermatologists treat genital warts?
Some genital warts resolve without treatment. However, removing warts offers the following benefits as treatment:
- Reduces the risk of spreading the virus
- Relieves any pain and itching
- Lets the patient know that the growths are genital warts and not cancer
- Eliminates warts that can be challenging to keep clean
For the treatment of genital warts, it is ideal to consult a dermatologist. The patient should not use a wart medication that they can purchase without a prescription. These drugs address other types of warts, but genital warts necessitate different treatments.
The treatment may involve a procedure in the dermatologist’s office or a medication that the patient can apply on the warts. Some treatments for genital warts are as follows:
The dermatologist often prescribes drugs that the patient will need to use on genital warts at home. These prescription drugs include:
- Podofilox for external warts (to prevent the wart cells from growing).
- Imiquimod (enhances the body’s immune system to enable it to fight HPV).
- An ointment comprising green tea extract (sinecatechins) for external warts and warts in the anal region.
A dermatologist may undertake one of the following procedures during an office visit:
- Cryosurgery (freeze off the warts using liquid nitrogen).
- Excision (cut out the warts).
- Electrocautery (destruct the warts using an electric current).
- Laser treatment (destruct the warts using laser light).
At times, medicine is injected into the wars. An antiviral drug known as Interferon may be injected into the genital warts. This treatment is typically used if other treatments prove to be ineffective.
Treatment can eliminate the warts that are visible, but it may not remove the virus from the body. The warts can return if the virus remains. A person who still has the virus may spread it through sex. The use of a condom during sex can decrease the risk of spreading the virus.
Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for dermatologic as well as medical spa procedures.
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.