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Warts sometimes go away on their own. But you should think about having them treated. Removing warts may help protect you by preventing cell changes that can lead to cancer. Depending on where the warts are, some treatments may work better than others.
Prescription creams and gels can be applied to warts and surrounding skin. Some prompt your immune system to rally against HPV (human papillomavirus), the virus that causes genital warts. Others are caustic agents that destroy warts. Medications can be applied at the doctor’s office or at home. Often, more than one dose is needed. These treatments sometimes cause skin rashes. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects.
Warts can be removed in a number of ways. These include freezing, cautery (heat), lasers, and surgery. These procedures are done by your regular doctor or a specialist. Before treatment, you may receive local anesthesia to numb the area. The number of treatments depends on how many warts are being removed. Your healthcare provider can give you more details.
As more is learned about HPV, new treatments are being developed to help the body defend itself. Your healthcare provider can tell you more about treatments that may someday be available. There is also a vaccine that can prevent HPV in young men and women. Your healthcare provider can tell you more.