Warts sometimes go away on their own, remain unchanged, or increase in size and number. Depending on where the warts are, some treatments may work better than others. However, even though these treatments may remove the wart, the virus that caused the wart usually remains in the skin.
Prescription creams and gels can be applied to warts and surrounding skin. Some prompt your immune system to rally against HPV (human papillomavirus), the virus that causes genital warts. Others are caustic agents that destroy warts. Medicines can be applied at the health care provider's office or at home. Often, more than one dose is needed. These treatments sometimes cause skin rashes. Talk to your healthcare provider about possible side effects.
Warts can be removed in a number of ways. These include freezing, heat (cautery), lasers, and surgery. These procedures are done by your regular healthcare provider or a specialist. Before treatment, you may receive local anesthesia to numb the area. The number of treatments depends on how many warts are being removed. Your healthcare provider can give you more details.
As more is learned about HPV, new treatments are being developed to help the body defend itself. Your healthcare provider can tell you more about treatments that may someday be available. There is also a vaccine that can prevent HPV in young men and women before you even have the virus. Your healthcare provider can tell you more.
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