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Recurrence of genital warts after successful treatment

Resolved Question:

Hi doctor, I experienced some itching and saw some warts in my genital areas, a few months ago. I consulted with doctor and got it confirmed that it is genital warts. He prescribed Warticon .15% cream and I was using it since then for about 2-3 months. It was made good by the time. Anyway, symptoms recurred about three or more times even after healing. I consulted with my doctor and he assured that warts will not return to me. But I am frustrated as the symptoms of recurrence seems horrible to me. Is there a chance that I will be affected with warts again? How long will the virus which causes genital warts stay alive in skin? This recurrence has completely affected my sexual confidence while approaching new partners. Please help.

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Category: Internal Medicine Specialist
Dr. Steve Merris is online now

Expert:  Dr. Steve Merris replied 4 Days.

I understand your question and concern about genital warts. They are caused by a virus called human papilloma virus or HPV. Sometimes warts will be widespread or not responding to medication like creams you applied. In such cases, surgeries will be required to treat them. But the success rate of surgery is also not good and warts seem to re-appear in about 50% of cases. One of the widely used method to treat genital warts is cryogenic method.  In this method, warts are frozen killed with the underlying tissue. This can be done in a hospital by a doctor who is used to it. This is mostly used if the warts are widely spread or if there are a number of warts in a small area. Creams also can be used to do this process. Moreover there are over the counter kits to do the treatment at home. Those kits are called freezing kits. Only creams can be used in situations where the warts are in a sensitive area so that freezing cannot be done. Freezing is usually done by doctors using liquid nitrogen. After the treatment, warts will fall off and disappear in a matter of a few days. If they seem to reappear, the same treatment is given again or some tropical medication is tried. In cases where these methods too fail, surgical removal of warts only can be done. 

Dr. Steve Merris
Category: Internal Medicine Specialist
Medical School - New York University
Internship in Internal Medicine - Beth Israel Medical Center
Residency in Internal Medicine - Beth Israel Medical Center
Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine - Columbia University Medical Center
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