Genital Wart Treatment

Genital warts; at a glance

  • Best Results1 week
  • Treatment Recovery6 days
  • Procedure Time2 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistDr Sarath Bodapati at Cutis Dermatology
  • Duration of ResultsPermanent
  • AnaestheticNumbing
  • Back to WorkNA
  • Cost$-$$

About Genital Warts

Genital warts are unsightly and hence can be a source of embarrassment. Our sexual health dermatologists specializes in genital wart removal with minimal discomfort. We employ carbon dioxide lasers to provide the fastest way to vaporize warts with maximum effectiveness. 

FactsFacts On Genital Warts

  • Genital warts are sexually transmitted 
  • Warts are due to HPV virus
  • A dermatologist can identify & treat resistant genital warts

What do genital warts look like?

Genital warts present as outgrowths on genital areas.  They start off as tiny skin-colored or whitish bumps, & grow to resemble little pieces of cauliflower. You can have just one wart or a bunch of them, and they can be big or small. They might be itchy, but most of the time they don’t hurt.

What causes genital warts?

Genital warts come about due to a virus known as Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are sexually transmitted. HPV can travel through the blood & cause warts in other parts of the body. The ones specifically causing genital warts arise from specific strains of HPV as opposed to the non sexual strains.

What is the best treatment for genital warts?

The fastest way to get rid of genital warts is with a CO2 laser. Laser evaporates the wart within a fraction of a second. Treatments such as wart gel & creams take 8 to 16 weeks for maximal effect, whilst liquid nitrogen requires multiple treatments over a period of months.

Disclaimer: I do not manage or diagnose genital disorders, including genital warts. My colleague, Dr Sarath at Cutis Dermatology, Brisbane has an interest in male genital dermatology.

How successful is laser wart removal?

Success rates vary between 60 to 100%. In some cases more than one session is required. Multiple sessions are required if you have a large number of warts, or if isolated warts are larger than 8 mm in diameter.

How is laser surgery performed?

All laser procedures are performed in our laser suites at Cutis Dermatology in Brisbane. The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes to complete & is painless. Dr Sarath uses pre-treatment numbing cream an hour before laser. 

How long does it take to heal from laser wart removal?

4-8 days, depending on the size & extent of warts. You will be provided with information about how to clear the treated areas pre & post laser. 

Davin’s viewpoint: genital warts

Disclaimer: as a dermatologist I have spent over a decade treating genital warts, however in my current practice, I do not manage or treat genital warts. Occasionally I am involved in providing tertiary advice, but will not be engaged in patient management. My colleague, Dr Sarath at Cutis Dermatology, Brisbane has an interest in male genital dermatology.

Most genital warts are triaged by GP’s. The first step (by a GP) is usually liquid nitrogen as this is a cost effective method of destroying wart virus. A cotton tip or cryoprobe is used, generally for two 15 second cycles. It has to be repeated between 2 to 8 times every 2-3 weeks.

From there, your doctor may prescribe Imiquimod cream, or Aldara. Imiquimod is a cream you apply to boost your immune system. Apply imiquimod 5% cream at bedtime, three times a week until cleared or for 16 weeks. Wash the treated area with soap and water 8 hours after you put it on. Avoid sex while imiquimod is on your skin because it can weaken condoms. Your doctor will modulate the inflammatory responses with Aldara, some patients require more application, some less. A small minority of patients will not have any reaction to Aldara (mediated via Toll receptors). Side effects are not uncommon & include flu like symptoms, joint aches & pains.

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