Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

HPV/Genital Warts Health Center

Font Size

Genital Warts (Human Papillomavirus) - Treatment Overview

There is no cure for HPV infection, but warts and cell changes can be treated. HPV infection that causes an abnormal Pap test will be treated differently than the HPV types that cause genital warts.

Genital warts caused by the most common types of human papillomavirus (HPV) may go away on their own without treatment. For this and other reasons, experts sometimes have different approaches to treating genital warts.

Recommended Related to Sexual Conditions

Understanding Male Sexual Problems -- Prevention

These suggestions may help men avoid sexual problems: Don't smoke; control your blood pressure, cholesterol level, and medical conditions such as diabetes. These factors can influence blood flow throughout the body and to the penis. Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs that can lessen sexual desire or impair your performance. Discuss side effects of medications with your health care provider or pharmacist. If medicine is to blame for sexual problems, an alternative with fewer sexual effects...

Read the Understanding Male Sexual Problems -- Prevention article > >

  • Genital warts may disappear without treatment. This is the natural course of many genital warts.
  • Destroying large areas of warts is difficult and may cause scarring.
  • Treatment for genital warts does not eliminate the HPV infection. You may still be able to spread the infection. Condoms can help reduce the risk of HPV infection.
  • Treatment of genital warts can be painful, and warts may return after treatment. Warts that return after being treated usually are not treated again unless you want to be retreated. If you do, you would usually choose a different form of treatment.
  • Some doctors believe that treatment for genital warts will help prevent the spread of HPV infections and keep genital warts from returning.

Types of treatment

Treatments for genital warts include medicines, freezing, laser, or surgery.

The type of medical treatment for genital warts will depend on:

  • The number, size, and location of warts.
  • The side effects of treatment.
  • The skill of the doctor for each treatment option.
  • The cost of treatment, which varies depending on:
    • The cost of medicine.
    • Any specialized equipment used.
    • The number of treatments needed.
  • The problems caused by the warts (such as blockage of the urethra).
  • Your preference.
  • If you are pregnant. Some wart medicines should not be used during pregnancy.


Doctors often recommend medicine applied to warts (topical drug treatment) as the first choice of treatment. A doctor will apply the medicines that have a high risk of causing damage to the skin around the warts. You can apply others at home.

Caution: Do not use nonprescription wart removal products to treat genital warts. These products are not intended to be used in the genital area and may cause serious burning.

    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    HPV Vaccine Future
    STD Overview
    STD Facts Quiz
    Syringes and graph illustration
    Sex Drive Killers
    Genital Herpes Risks Quiz
    Young couple holding hands
    Herpes Vaccine Study
    Condom Quiz
    HPV Symptoms Tests
    Get The STD Picture
    cancer cell

    WebMD Special Sections