Treatment

HPV Treatment

There is currently no cure for HPV, however there are ways that people can lower the risk of contracting HPV. Vaccines can protect males and females against some of the most common types of HPV that can lead to disease and cancer.

Vaccination

For females, the vaccines Cervarix and Gardasil are available to protect females against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. Gardasil also protects against most genital warts. Gardasil has also been shown to protect against anal, vaginal and vulvar cancers. Either vaccine is recommended for 11 and 12 year-old girls, and for females 13 through 26 years of age, who did not get any or all of the shots when they were younger. It is recommended to get the same vaccine brand for all three doses, whenever possible.

Males can take the vaccine Gardasil which protects against most genital warts and anal cancers. This vaccine is available for boys and men, 9 through 26 years of age.


Removal of Genital Warts

Even if genital warts are no longer present, the virus is never eliminated from the body. This means warts may come back in the future.

Patients should not use over-the-counter wart removers for genital warts. These products are not designed for genital warts and they may cause serious side effects.

Consult your doctor to determine the safest and most effective way to remove warts.

Many creams and ointments, such as imiquimod (Aldara®) and podofilox (Condylox®), may be applied directly to the skin to remove warts. Healthcare providers may also apply a chemical called trichloroacetic acid (TCA) to the skin to burn off warts. These medications may damage condoms, making them less effective.

Wart Removal Options

  • Cryotherapy

During cryotherapy, a healthcare provider applies liquid nitrogen to freeze off the wart

  • Electrocautery

During electrocautery, an electrical current is used to burn off warts.

  • Surgical incision

Surgical incisions, which involve using a scalpel and other surgical instruments to remove the

wart, may also be used

  • Laser removal, are available to remove warts.

During laser treatments, the warts are removed with an intense beam of light.These procedures are usually only performed for severe warts that do not respond to other types of treatment.

Patients should not have sex while they are receiving treatment. Sexual partners of patients who have been diagnosed with HPV should be tested and treated for STDs.

Selected References

American Social Health Association. www.ashastd.org. Accessed April 28, 2009.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). www.cdc.gov. Accessed April 28, 2009.
Cline JS. Sexually transmitted diseases: will this problem ever go away? N C Med J. 2006 Sep-Oct;67(5):353-8.
Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Copyright © 2009. Accessed April 28, 2009.
No authors listed. Human papillomavirus vaccine: new drug. Cervical cancer prevention: high hopes. Prescrire Int. 2007 Jun;16(89):91-4.
Rupp RE, Stanberry LR, Rosenthal SL. Vaccines for sexually transmitted infections. Pediatr Ann. 2005 Oct;34(10):818-20, 822-4.
Siddiqui MA, Perry CM. Human papillomavirus quadrivalent (types 6, 11, 16, 18) recombinant vaccine (Gardasil). Drugs. 2006;66(9):1263-71; discussion 1272-3.
Weaver BA. Epidemiology and natural history of genital human papillomavirus infection. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2006 Mar;106(3 Suppl 1):S2-8.