It goes without saying that unprotected sex can have grave consequences. It leaves you susceptible to different sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and diseases (STDs), dealing with which can be really embarrassing at times. One such STI is genital warts.

Genital warts, also known as venereal warts or fig warts, are soft, flesh-colored growths that occur in the genital area. Genital warts usually appear on the vulva, vagina, anus or cervix in women. In men, they can appear on the penis, scrotum or anus.

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If you're suffering from these growths, read on to learn how to get rid of genital warts.

how to get rid of genital warts

Causes of Genital Warts

The primary cause of genital warts is the human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus is highly contagious and can spread through skin-to-skin genital contact. It can also be transferred to a newborn if the mother had the infection during childbirth.

A number of unhealthy practices can also make you more vulnerable to the infection, including:

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  • Having sexual intercourse with an infected person
  • Having oral sex with an infected partner, which can lead to warts in the mouth and throat
  • Having unprotected sex and/or multiple sex partners
  • Long-term use of birth control pills
  • Having sex at an early age
  • Sharing bedsheets or towels with someone infected with HPV
  • Excessive use of tobacco and alcohol, which can exacerbate warts and cancer caused by HPV

Symptoms of Genital Warts

The most common symptom of genital warts is the appearance of flesh-colored lumps around the genital area that resemble the top of a cauliflower. They can either appear singly or in clusters.

While most genital warts are benign and go away with time, some of them can cause discomfort and in extreme cases can show the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty passing urine.
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse.
  • Itching and burning around the genital area.
  • Increase in vaginal discharge.
  • Increased moisture on the genitals and the surrounding area.

The symptoms listed above can also be caused by other STIs or health conditions, so consult your doctor if you experience such symptoms.

Preventing Genital Warts

  • Using a condom during sexual intercourse can reduce your risk of contracting genital warts.
  • You can get vaccinated against HPV, which is responsible for genital warts and cervical cancer. The vaccine can be administered up to 26 years of age.
  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone infected with HPV.
  • Do not share towels or bedsheets with someone infected with HPV.
  • Stop smoking, as smokers are more prone to developing genital warts than nonsmokers.

Home Treatment of Genital Warts

Though there is no cure per say for HPV, topical application of a variety of household ingredients can help to treat genital warts and prevent a recurrence.

Before you proceed with any of the home remedies, it is advisable to do a patch test on the surrounding unaffected skin to check your tolerance for the particular ingredient. If you experience any discomfort or burning, try a different remedy.

Remember to apply petroleum jelly on the surrounding unaffected area to protect the healthy skin.

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Here are five remedies to get rid of genital warts.

Method 1: Apply Apple Cider Vinegar

Touted as a remedy for a number of skin ailments as well as genital yeast infection, apple cider vinegar works effectively on genital warts, too. The acetic acid present in the vinegar is corrosive in nature and can kill the tissue of the wart when kept in constant contact for a long period.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply apple cider vinegar on the wart and leave it on overnight

apply apple cider vinegar on genital warts

  • Soak a cotton ball or pad in apple cider vinegar and place it over the wart. It is normal to experience a slight stinging or burning sensation the first time you apply it.
  • Secure the cotton ball or pad in place with a bandage.
  • Leave it on overnight. If you do not want to leave it on overnight, apply a soaked cotton ball for 10 to 15 minutes once every hour throughout the day.
  • The next morning, remove it and rinse the area with water.

Repeat daily for 1 to 2 weeks. You may notice positive results within 4 or 5 days of starting with the remedy.

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Method 2: Apply Garlic

Garlic contains a potent compound called allicin that has antimicrobial properties. The compound can kill a number of viruses in your body and prevent growth of others like HPV. Allicin also stimulates your liver and intestines for overall detoxification of the body.

Apart from treating genital warts, you can also use garlic to get rid of a cold sore overnight.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply crushed garlic on the wart and leave it on overnight

apply crushed garlic on genital warts

  • Scoop out some crushed garlic and apply it on the wart. Alternatively, you can place a sliced garlic clove on the wart or use a few drops of garlic oil.
  • Place a cotton ball or pad over it and secure it with a bandage.
  • Leave it on overnight.
  • Remove the bandage in the morning and rinse the area with water.

Repeat every day for upto 2 weeks or until the wart disappears. Alternatively, you can consume 2 garlic capsules daily until the wart disappears. Garlic should start showing results within the week.

Note: If you take blood-thinning medicines or will undergo any surgery within a few days, you should avoid garlic consumption.

Method 3: Apply Castor Oil and Baking Soda

Castor oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, due to the presence of ricinoleic acid. Regular application of castor oil is an effective remedy to eliminate genital warts.

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Combining it with baking soda can help draw moisture out of the warts, break the cell clusters of the warts and eventually make them fall off.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to get rid of genital warts using castor oil and baking soda

  • Castor oil (antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties) – 1 tablespoon
  • Baking soda (breaks the cell clusters of the warts) – 1 tablespoon
  • Cotton ball or pad
  • Bandage

Step 1. Mix castor oil and baking soda into a thick paste

mix castor oil and baking soda

  • Put 1 tablespoon of castor oil in a bowl.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
  • Stir the ingredients to form a thick paste.

Step 2. Apply the paste on the wart and leave it on overnight

apply the paste on genital warts

  • Using your finger, apply the paste on the wart.
  • Place a cotton ball or pad over it and secure it with a bandage.
  • Leave it on overnight.
  • The next morning, remove it and rinse the area with water.

Repeat daily for 1 to 2 weeks to see the wart wither and drop off.

Method 4: Apply Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has natural astringent properties that can help get rid of genital warts. Use 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide, as it is more acidic and works better on the warts. Since it is a strong solution, dilute it with water to use on the sensitive genital area.

Step 1. Dilute hydrogen peroxide with water

dilte hydrogen peroxide

  • Put 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl and add an equal quantity of water.
  • Stir it well.

Step 2. Apply the solution on the wart 3 to 5 times a day

apply diluted hydrogen peroxide on warts

  • Using a cotton ball or pad, apply the diluted hydrogen peroxide on the wart.

Repeat 3 to 5 times per day for 1 to 2 weeks to get rid of the genital warts.

Method 5: Apply Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antiseptic and antiviral properties that can cure genital warts. It is also used to remove benign common skin warts. The oil needs to be diluted with a carrier oil like almond or olive oil before applying it on the genital area.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to get rid of genital warts using tea tree oil

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  • Tea tree oil (antiseptic and antiviral properties) – 4 or 5 drops
  • Olive oil (healing carrier oil) – 1 tablespoon
  • Cotton ball or pad
  • Bandage

Step 1. Mix tea tree oil and olive oil in a bowl

mix tea tree oil and olive oil

  • Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl.
  • Add 4 or 5 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Stir it well.

Step 2. Apply the diluted oil on the wart and leave it on overnight

apply diluted oil on the wart

  • Soak a cotton ball or pad in the diluted oil and place it on the wart. Secure it in place with a bandage.
  • Leave it on overnight.
  • Rinse it off with water the next morning.

Repeat every day for 1 to 2 weeks to make the wart disappear.

Tips

  • During an outbreak, maintain extra good hygiene. Wear only 100% cotton underwear and change them every 6 to 8 hours. Also, wash your clothes separately in hot water to avoid spreading the infection to someone else.
  • Keep the genital area dry, as a moist environment is a breeding ground for warts. You can use a towel or blow-dry the area on low heat.
  • Do not scratch the wart, as it can spread and cause more warts.
  • Eat healthy foods to strengthen your body’s natural defense to fight the virus.
  • Drinking 2 to 3 cups of herbal teas like lemongrass, chamomile and green tea daily can also strengthen your immune system against HPV.
  • If none of the remedies work, you can consult your doctor for cryotherapy. It involves freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen.

 References:

http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/hpv-genital-warts/tc/genital-warts-human-papillomavirus-topic-overview#1

http://www.fpa.org.uk/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis-help/genital-warts

Summary of How to Get Rid of Genital Warts

how to get rid of genital warts

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