Genital Warts

Genital Warts Treatment: Destruction/Excision Therapies

Liquid Nitrogen

Liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius, is used to freeze water inside the cells, causing its destruction. It is applied with a Q-tip or sprayed on the wart and surrounding skin. This is the most common type of treatment.

  • Advantages - Fast and easy to use.
  • Disadvantages - Minor scarring is a possibility as well as a permanent loss of pigment cells, which would create white patches on the skin.

Repeat treatments are usually required as the recurrence rate following this therapy is between 40% and 74%.

Trichloroacetic Acid

This is an acid in a liquid form. It is applied directly on to the wart. It denatures cellular protein, killing the skin cells.

  • Advantages - It is quick and easy to apply usually on a q-tip. It clears the warts about 60 to 70% of the time, and can be used on pregnant women as it does not penetrate the skin.
  • Disadvantages - Painful and burns on application. The liquid can run away from the local site of application. It may need repeat treatment. It can ulcerate the skin causing scars or loss of skin of pigment.

Electrosurgery

Electosurgery is used to cuaterize the wart through heat. It is usually applied directly on to the skin using a metal needle.

  • Advantages - Works on small protruding warts. Fast treatment that usually results in less inflammation compared with liquid nitrogen cryotherapy.
  • Disadvantages - Has to be administered by a doctor. Can only be used on small warts. Frequently local anesthetics have to be used. It causes a plume of burnt tissue or smoke which may be hazardous to inhale.

Ablative Laser Therapy

Ablative laser surgery is usually performed using a CO2 laser. This laser light is absorbed by water in the skin tissue resulting in vaporizing the wart tissue.

  • Advantages - This is a good destructve technique if there is a large area to be treated.
  • Disadvantages - It is a relatively expensive treatment, and scarring is a possibility. A plume of vapor that contains PHV particles can potentially be harmful if inhaled, so an effective system must be in place to remove this concern.

Excision by Scissor, Scalpel or Curetting

Warts can be removed by cutting it out via a curette, or a scalpel.

  • Advantages - This is an effective and direct way to remove existing warts.
  • Disadvantages - It can be a painful treatment, and scarring may be a concern. Occasionally secondary infection may result.

 



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