This week a reader asks how he might get rid of genital warts, Dr Nitin Shori answers the question.
I have genital warts and don’t want to get them frozen off again. Can I get a cream buy one or get one without the doctor having to look?
Genital warts are very common in England – second only among sexually transmitted infections (STIs) after chlamydia.
They often appear as small fleshy growths or lumps in the genital or anal areas and are caused by a viral skin infection related to the human papillomavirus (HPV).
While they can look unsightly and can sometimes bleed, they don’t usually cause any real threat to your health.
However, they are a reminder of the need to take adequate precautions against STIs, many of which have very serious health consequences.
As well as being passed on during sexual intercourse, genital warts can also be spread via skin-to-skin contact.
It’s important to understand that a condom won’t always protect you and that it is possible for HPV to be transferred from apparently healthy skin.
As you know, genital warts can be frozen off the skin using a technique called cryotherapy. Medical professionals can also use laser treatments, surgery or trichloroacetic acid (TCA) to remove genital warts.
You’d prefer not to have to see a doctor to have your genital warts removed and you’ll be pleased to learn that prescription liquids and creams could be available for you to use at home if you have been previously diagnosed with genital warts by a doctor.
Following an online consultation, the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor Service could prescribe you with one of a number of creams and liquids used to remove genital warts.
Some work by stimulating the body’s immune system against HPV, while others have a directly toxic effect on the wart itself.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to get yourself checked for other STIs if you think there’s a risk that you might have been infected.