Cryotherapy is a medical procedure which involves the application of extreme cold to destroy abnormal growths. It is one of the most effective method of getting rid of genital warts. According to Dr. C.M. Kodner and Dr. S. Nasraty of the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky, “…Podofilox, imiquimod, surgical excision, and cryotherapy are the most convenient and effective options.”
Even if you can get the required chemicals to freeze your genital warts in your own home, self-medication is discouraged. The procedure should only be performed at your doctor’s office. Since cryotherapy can be very agonizing and dangerous if carelessly performed by the untrained, it is a wise decision to let a doctor or a health worker do it.
Liquid nitrogen is the primary chemical used in cryotherapy. It is used to blast the warts into deep freeze at the cellular level. The extremely cooled liquid nitrogen is sprayed in a fine stream on the wart. The skin around the frozen wart will blister and after a few days, will form into a scab. The genital wart and the scab will then fall off. It will take several cryotherapy treatment sessions before all warts are eliminated.
After the Procedure
Apart from its effectiveness, cryotherapy is favored because it is nearly non-invasive. Furthermore, it has only a few side effects such as mild rashes and some scarring which are almost negligible. The only real cause for concern is that the surrounding healthy skin may get damaged.
Generally, patients who had cryotherapy felt mild to moderate pain and some inflammation in the treated area. This can be relieved by taking oral analgesics like aspirin or ibuprofen along with some topical steroid ointment applied to the treated area. Blisters may sometimes develop but these turn to scabs later and flake off.
Before Undergoing Cryotherapy
If you happen to have genital warts and are seriously contemplating their removal, always remember that human papillomavirus, the virus that brings about the warts, cannot be cured and will remain in your system. HPV can remain inactive inside our bodies for a long time without manifesting any symptom. Cryotherapy will only remove the external genital warts but cannot eliminate the virus.
You will experience the recurrence of genital warts occasionally in the future. What’s more, if you have been infected, it should follow that you have the HPV in your system and can transmit it to other persons. The bad news for women is some “high-risk” types of HPV can cause cervical cancer.
Cryotherapy has been proven by medical experts to eliminate genital warts. When compared to Podophyllin in the treatment of genital warts, Dr. SamiAnwer Bashi of the Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Royal Victoria Hospital, Bournemouth, United Kingdom said, “…One hundred five (51 %) of those treated with podophyllin and 114 (79%) treated with cryotherapy were free of warts at their follow-up examination.”
Cryotherapy can be affordable to expensive depending on wart infestation and the number of treatment sessions. Dr. C.M. Kodner said, “…the cost per successful treatment course is approximately dollars 200 to dollars 300 for podofilox, cryotherapy, electrodesiccation, surgical excision, laser treatment, and the loop electrosurgical excision procedure.”
If cryotherapy does not work for you, ask your doctor for other available treatment options for genital warts removal.