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How to Get Rid of HPV Genital Warts

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tea tree oil for genital warts

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  • In women, genital warts can appear on, inside or outside the vulva, vagina or anus, as well as on the cervix. In men, they may be seen on the penis, scrotum, inside or outside the anus, groin and thighs
  • Most conventional physicians usually prescribe topical medications to bring patients relief; however, take note that these can have severe side effects
  • Instead of immediately resorting to the conventional treatments, you can first opt for holistic remedies to eliminate genital warts and give you relief

Most human papillomavirus (HPV) types are typically harmless, and in the majority of people, they go away (usually within two years1) without causing any symptoms. However, there are instances when the virus can cause warts to form.

Most common HPV warts go away without treatment, especially in children.2 They usually cause minimal discomfort as well. However, there are HPV types that cause genital warts. These warts are usually brought on by HPV types 6 and 11,3 and can become itchy, uncomfortable and painful.

What Do Genital Warts Look Like and Where Do They Appear?

It can be hard to identify HPV genital warts, as sometimes they can be too small for the naked eye. When visible, they are either the same color as the infected person’s skin, or may be pinkish or reddish. You can have either just one wart or they can grow in clusters of three or four. In addition, genital warts can look like a cauliflower, feeling bumpy to the touch.4

In women, genital warts can appear on, inside or outside the vulva, vagina or anus, as well as on the cervix. In men, they may be seen on the penis, scrotum, inside or outside the anus, groin and thighs.5 Having oral sex may also cause the warts to grow in the mouth, particularly on the tongue, lips and throat.6

Conventional Treatment for HPV Genital Warts

Because they can lead to discomfort over time, many people often seek help to get rid of genital warts. Most conventional physicians usually prescribe topical medications to bring patients relief; however, take note that these can have severe side effects. Some topical pharmaceutical examples include:

Imiquimod (Aldara) — This drug is supposed to improve your immune system's ability to fight off the infection.7 Take note that it may cause skin redness, rashes, back or chest pain and blisters.8 Sexual intercourse while using this cream is also ill-advised, as it can cause diaphragms and condoms to weaken, and may cause irritation on your partner's skin.9

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)  This topical remedy can cause itching, burning, skin irritation and pain, which should not be surprising, as it works by burning off the genital warts.10

Podophyllin and podofilox (Condylox) — They contain the same active compound, which works to kill genital wart tissue. However, they are tricky to self-apply and comes with risks and side effects. Podofilox, in particular, can cause side effects if the gel spreads to other areas. It's also not recommended to be used on warts in the anal canal, cervix or vagina.11

Another conventional way to get rid of HPV genital warts is through surgical procedures, such as cryotherapy or laser treatments. However, these are typically recommended as a last resort, and only for certain circumstances, such as when the warts are too big, do not respond to medications and other treatments or if you are pregnant and your child may become exposed to the warts.

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Try These Natural Treatment Options Instead

Instead of immediately resorting to the conventional treatments above, you can first opt for holistic remedies to eliminate genital warts and give you relief. Try these options:

Tea tree oil (TTO) — It may help eliminate genital warts, as it's been found to be useful against fungi and other organisms.12 It has antiviral and antimicrobial properties that may help against this infection.13

Take note that there are people with allergies to tea tree oil, so it's best to do a skin patch test prior to use. It may also cause dryness, itching or may leave a burning sensation.14 If TTO causes too much irritation, stop using it.

Green tea — According to a study published in the American Family Physician journal,15 a prescription ointment made from green tea may be effective against genital warts.

GarlicConsidering its wide array of medicinal uses, it's no surprise that garlic may have the potential to clear up genital warts. One study notes that a 10% garlic extract applied on genital warts for two months resulted in the same effects as cryotherapy.16

A Healthy Diet May Also Help Banish Genital Warts

A wholesome and well-balanced diet plays a significant role in any type of disease, and this includes HPV. In particular, make sure you get your fill of crunchy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, as they contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which has anti-estrogenic abilities that may help reduce the risk of cervical cancer.17

Other foods you should eat include those that are rich in antioxidants like carotenoids B-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamin C.18 At the same time, avoid all allergenic foods, refined sugars, processed and refined foods, high amounts of red meats, caffeine and other stimulants.

MORE ABOUT HPV

HPV: Introduction

What Is HPV?

Oral HPV

How Is HPV Transmitted?

HPV Vaccine

HPV in Men

HPV in Women

HPV Types

HPV Causes

HPV Symptoms

HPV Warts

HPV Treatment

HPV Test

How to Get Rid of HPV

Living with HPV

Does HPV Go Away?

How Do You Get HPV?

Is HPV Curable?

Is HPV Contagious?

How Long Does HPV Last?

HPV FAQ

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