Warts are tiny, irregular, rough bumps on your skin or genitals. They are the only visible symptoms of the human papillomavirus or HPV. Most warts are painless and don’t cause any harm, but many people choose to remove them for cosmetic reasons. Warts can also spread from one part of your body to another or from person to person, so it’s best to get rid of your warts immediately.
What Warts Do You Have?
There are several types of HPV that infect people. Some of these viruses are harmless, causing no other symptoms but warts. Others though, can cause cervical cancer in women. HPV types that cause no symptoms, not even warts, are the most dangerous because they can cause cervical cancer.
The first thing you need to do if you suspect you have warts is to go to your doctor for a checkup. Your doctor can then diagnose if you do have warts or if you have another skin condition. Warts grow in different locations on your skin. Here are the different types of warts according to their locations:
- Common warts: Common warts are typically found on the hands and feet, although they may also appear on other areas, like the elbows or knees. They are shaped like a cauliflower and are elevated above the surrounding skin. These warts are generally safe since they are not linked to cancers.
- Periungal and subungal warts: These are harder to treat than other kinds of warts because they usually grow around your fingernails. The periungal type grows on your cuticle or around your fingernail, while the subungal type develops under the fingernail.
- Plantar warts: Plantar warts grow on the soles of your feet. Large plantar warts may cause pain when you’re walking.
- Flat warts: Flat warts can be revealed by applying vinegar on parts of your body that are suspected of having warts. Your doctor may apply the vinegar on your face, forehead and arms. Teens and children are the common victims of flat warts. While they are also unsightly, most flat warts are not linked to cancer.
- Genital warts: These warts grow on the genitals. You won’t necessarily have cervical cancer though, if you have genital warts. In fact, HPV types that don’t cause any visible symptoms are more likely to cause cervical cancer in women.
Cryosurgery: Getting Rid of Warts Through Freezing
All of the above mentioned warts can be removed through cryosurgery. Cryosurgery works by freezing warts with liquid nitrogen and then shedding them off. The procedure is not that painful and is often effective. You may need several sessions of cryosurgery though, to remove all your warts. The typical course of the procedure is as follows:
- The doctor uses a magnifying glass to see the wart tissue better. Point to areas where you’ve seen warts so that the doctor can inspect them and see if there are more that you’ve not seen.
- Your doctor puts liquid nitrogen around your warts, freezing them. He then allows the wart tissue to thaw. Liquid nitrogen may be used again if your warts need another application. The time of the whole process depends on the doctor and the size of your warts.
- The doctor may repeat the process for three times or more depending on the size and thickness of your warts. Warts that are really large and thick may need more than three cycles of freeze and thaw before they can be removed.
- You may need more treatments if the warts are in your genitals, anus, or urethra. The procedure may also take longer if warts are located too far inside.
What to Expect After the Procedure
The duration of the procedure depends on number, size, and location of your warts. Treated areas usually heal within one to three weeks. Recovery time may be longer though, if you have other medical conditions that can cause complications.
Regularly check treated areas throughout the whole healing process and be on the lookout for any sign of infection. Go immediately to your doctor if you develop a fever. Treated areas may also bleed initially. Consult your doctor if the bleeding continues for several days. Signs of infection include: yellowish, foul-smelling discharge, inflammation and lasting pain. In addition, avoid having sex until treated areas are completely healed.
Cryosurgery and Women
HPV infection in women can result in genital warts. This is actually a good sign that the HPV infection is not likely to cause cancer because HPV types that cause cervical cancer don’t have any symptoms. You may choose to get rid of your genital warts through cryosurgery for cosmetic reasons. Make sure to regularly check treated areas after the procedure to be on your guard against infection.
You may have a watery discharge in your vagina that may last up to three weeks. Talk to your doctor if you think that your discharge is not normal. Remember to use sanitary napkins instead of tampons for two to three weeks to avoid complications. Lastly, do not have sexual intercourse or douche until treated areas heal, which usually takes one to three weeks.
Is Cryosurgery Effective?
One study found that cryosurgery or cryotherapy got rid of genital warts in 70 percent or more cases. Some warts grow back though, so you may have to return to the hospital for another round of treatment.
Take note that HPV can affect anyone, growing warts in the process. Removing your warts doesn’t have anything to do with the virus in your body. HPV will still continue to prey on your body even after your warts are gone.
Warts may also come back if you don’t take good care of your skin. Regularly wash your hands to prevent HPV and other types of infection.
You don’t have to suffer the look of your skin when you’re walking down the street, talking to people, or having sex. Get rid of all your warts through cryosurgery, an easy and effective procedure that absolutely works. Talk to your doctor every step of the way to remove your warts as quickly as possible.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of warts by freezing.