The steps to remove genital warts using cryotherapy
The reason for contracting genital warts is the human papillomavirus (HPV). The infection is typically transmitted directly from the infected skin to healthy skin through contact. 99% of genital warts are usually transmitted through sexual intercourse.
When you research the treatment and during your first visit, the doctor will inform you about the type of infection and how it is transmitted. They will present you with the available treatment options. In this article, we specifically focus on the treatment with cryotherapy, which involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze the protruding area of the warts, cutting off their blood supply, and killing the cells from the bottom. As a result, these warts will fall off after several days.
Here are the drawbacks of this type of treatment:
1- Cryotherapy for genital warts does not eliminate the virus that causes the warts but only removes the protrusions on the skin. There is a high possibility of the warts returning after this type of treatment, and many individuals who undergo cryotherapy experience a significant and unpleasant recurrence of warts.
2- Cryotherapy for genital warts can be very painful, especially for those who are sensitive to cold. The pain may persist for days to weeks.
3- After the warts fall off, cryotherapy can leave scars at the treatment site.
4- There is a high risk of developing infections at the site where cryotherapy was performed, leading to prolonged and costly treatments, as the area may develop pus due to inflammation.
5- Cryotherapy is not suitable for the treatment of widespread genital warts.
6- In most cases, this treatment can lead to changes in the skin's color, making it appear similar to vitiligo.
It is essential to consider these drawbacks when choosing a treatment for genital warts and consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action.
Advantages of this type of treatment for genital warts:
1- Ease of Use: Cryotherapy is easy to administer and each session typically takes no more than half an hour or less. It can be performed quickly in a doctor's office.
2- Non-Surgical and Bloodless: The equipment used in cryotherapy is non-surgical, and there is no bleeding from the warts being treated.
Here are the steps and procedure for performing cryotherapy for genital warts:
1- Informing the Patient: The patient is informed that the treatment is straightforward, does not leave a lasting impact.
2- Cleaning the Area: The affected area is thoroughly cleaned with antiseptic solutions.
3- Preparing Large Warts: For larger warts, the thickened layer on the skin's surface must be removed to reach the live tissue of the warts. This step reduces the number of treatment sessions required.
4- Application of Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto the warts, causing them to turn white. The amount of liquid nitrogen and the distance from the device to the warts depend on their size and depth.
5- Covering the Warts: The warts and the surrounding skin are covered with 1 to 2 mm of liquid nitrogen to ensure complete cooling.
6- Allowing to Dry: The liquid nitrogen is left to dry, which takes around 3 to 5 minutes.
7- Color Change and Pain: The warts turn red due to the extreme cooling, and the patient may experience severe pain.
8- Post-Treatment Instructions: The patient is informed that the warts will change color, shrink, and after 7 to 10 days, they may fall off or need to be rubbed off.
9- Pain Management: The patient is provided with pain relievers and topical antibiotic creams for duration of 15 days.
As previously mentioned, cryotherapy, specifically using liquid nitrogen, can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, expensive, and may involve discomfort during and after the treatment.
The results of cryotherapy for genital warts can be moderate, as it does not eliminate the human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes the warts. Therefore, there is a very high possibility of the warts reappearing after treatment.
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