It’s just scary, isn’t it?
The horrific genital wart that shatters your pride and smashes your confidence to smithereens.
To make things worse:
Not all patients afford the hefty medical consultation fee and genital warts surgery cost.
Some find visits to doctor are time consuming, some have concern that invasive surgical procedures might cause scarring.
So it comes as no surprise that people are looking at cost effective genital warts ointment – that also allows topical home treatment at their own convenience and discretion at home.
But you might still be wondering:
What are the available HPV genital wart cream and recommendations?
Where can you buy genital wart cream over the counter online?
Don’t worry, this is the one-stop ultimate guide that we comprehensively review through anogenital warts cream / solution for men and women, covering medical research results and OTC options, to save your time and hassle in overcoming your nightmare.
If you find this guide is helpful for those searching for actionable advice on how to get rid of genital warts (condyloma), then please share this out.
Just read on, or click on below to go straight to the section.
- Option 1: Podophyllin Resin Paint.
- Option 2: Podophyllotoxin Cream (Podofilox / Condylox) – Doctor Recommended.
- Option 3: Imiquimod Cream – Doctor Recommended.
- Option 4: Trichloroacetic Acid Solution (TCA).
- Option 5: Salicylic Acid Wart Cream.
- Option 6: Natural Wart Removal Cream.
- Genital Wart Cream OTC Reviews Summary and Comparison Table.
Option 1: Podophyllin – Its History and Diminishing Usage
Podophyllin is a substance derived from the roots of the mayapple plant found in the wild in eastern North America.
Podophyllin solution was first used to treat HPV warts in 1940s, with urologists in New Orleans used podophyllin for condylomata accuminata (genital warts) treatment, while Kurtin and Yantef reported the successful use of podophyllin for plantar warts removal in 1948.
Podophyllin resin, such as Podocon-25 with Podophyllin 25% in Benzoin Tincture, must be applied by a doctor or trained medical professional because its usage amount must be handled carefully with close medical monitoring to avoid serious side effects.
When applies podophyllin resin paint to the anogenital warts, a doctor may use petroleum jelly such as Vaseline to protect normal tissue around the warts from irritation.
The doctor usually applies the podophyllin once a week for at least 6 weeks or until warts disappear, while the resin should be washed off in 1 to 4 hours to reduce side effects.
However, according to Dr Robert James Frascino MD, a 20% Podophyllin is no longer the treatment of choice for genital warts as it is a rather crude extract and can have side effects and toxicities.
Dr Robert’s statement is echoed by research study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, indicating:
“Topical application of podophyllin solution, long considered the therapy of first choice against condylomata acuminata, can no longer be recommended due to its low efficacy and gross toxicity“.
Option 2: Doctor-Recommended Podophyllotoxin / Podofilox
When you visit a doctor for genital wart removal, the first-line therapy would be topical treatment that applies a cream or gel directly onto the skin, with surgery would only be considered when topical treatment fails.
Nowadays, the often first-line genital wart treatment option recommended by doctor is Podophyllotoxin cream, also known as Podofilox and Condylox.
Podophyllotoxin is an extract from the roots of the mayapple plant with antiviral and antiwart properties that also acts as inhibitor of cell division metaphase.
You are probably curious:
“Hold on.. Seems Podophyllotoxin is similar as Podophyllin, as both are extract from the roots of the mayapple plant? So what are the differences?”
Good question – let’s debunk the myth with this medical explanation by The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal):
Podophyllin, a crude and non-standardised plant extract with low efficacy, high toxicity, and a serious mutagenicity profile does not comply with the WHO guidelines for plant derived treatments and should be removed from clinical treatment protocols.
Home treatment with pharmaceutical products based on podophyllotoxin — the purified, standardised active antiwart ingredient of podophyllin — represents safe and effective first line therapy for patients with anogenital warts.
In contrast with podophyllin, topical use of 0.15%–0.5% podophyllotoxin preparations are very safe for clinical use.
As podophyllotoxin-based pharmaceutical products can be self-applied by the patients at home (unlike Podophyllin resin which can be applied by doctors only), patients need fewer visits to a doctor, thus significantly reduces the time and cost of genital wart treatment.
The use of Podophyllotoxin in Europe and United States has yielded superior results compared with the podophyllin resin. Based on research results published by PubMed, a study conducted on 60 women with genital warts found that:
- Podophyllotoxin cream showed 82% primary clearance after termination of treatment vs 59% clearance rate for podophyllin solution, while
- The total frequency of warts eradicated was 94% with podophyllotoxin vs 74% with podophyllin solution.
Additional comparative studies between 0.5% podophyllotoxin preparations (Condyline) vs 20% podophyllin, conducted by Mazurkiewicz W and Jablonska S on 75 genital wart patients, show full remission was obtained on 68% of patients treated with podophyllotoxin vs 38% of patients treated with podophyllin.
In fact, with clinical study shows podophyllotoxin was more effective and gave quicker resolution than podophyllin in treating external penile warts, Department of Genitourinary Medicine in St Thomas’s Hospital of London made the conclusion below:
Podophyllotoxin can be used safely and effectively for home treatment monitored at an outpatient clinic and provides a useful alternative to treatment with podophyllin at overburdened genitourinary medicine clinics.
So What are the Podophyllotoxin-based Genital Wart Creams / Solutions in the Market?
Here you go:
The active ingredient of Condyline solution is Podophyllotoxin, at the same 0.5% concentration level as used in the aforementioned clinical studies with proven efficacy in anogenital warts treatment.
The other substances of Condyline formula include Lactic acid, Sodium lactate, etc.
>> Check out comprehensive Condyline Paint reviews.
#2: Wartec Cream
The concentration of podophyllotoxin in Wartec is 0.15% (1.5 mg/g).
Additionally, it also contains other inactive ingredients such as propyl hydroxybenzoate, methyl hydroxybenzoate, purified water, Sorbic acid, etc.
The other ingredients in Warticon cream include Methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218), Propyl parahydroxybenzoate (E216), Sorbic acid, etc.
>> Check out comprehensive Warticon cream reviews.
Among the above, Wartec and Warticon are basically the same. Both are manufactured by Stiefel Laboratories with 0.15% Podophyllotoxin concentration level, just that they are authorised in the Member States of the EEA under the different medicinal product names in different countries.
For instance, it is marketed as Wartec crema in Spain, and Warticon cream in Ireland.
Additional important notes on Podophyllotoxin / Podofilox over the counter treatment:
- Podophyllotoxin is usually recommended as self-administered and well-tolerated topical therapy to treat clusters of small, mild, and soft genital warts at home. It works by infiltrating wart cells and having a toxic effect on its nucleus, which ultimately leads to the cells not being able to duplicate themselves and grow.
- Treatment with Podophyllotoxin is based on cycles. Unless otherwise advised by doctor, Podophyllotoxin should be used twice-daily for 3 days, followed by 4 days without treatment. If the wart persists after the first 7 days cycle, treatment may be repeated at weekly intervals, for a maximum of 4 to 5 weeks. Contact your doctor if your anogenital wart condition does not improve.
- The total wart area treated with Podophyllotoxin should not exceed 10 cm2, and the total volume of Podophyllotoxin should not exceed 0.5 mL daily. Avoid getting Podophyllotoxin cream on normal skin around the warts.
- Podophyllotoxin is for external genital warts treatment only. Never apply Podophyllotoxin internally.
- Sexual contact is not recommended soon after the Podophyllotoxin cream or Podofilox gel is applied to your skin, as it may cause irritation for your partner.
- Podophyllotoxin should not be used if you are pregnant.
- Mild to moderate pain or local irritation might develop after treatment. If you encounter rare adverse impact like diarrhea that persist during the treatment, stop using the Podophyllotoxin products and consult your doctor accordingly.
Option 3: The Immune-Stimulating Imiquimod Creams
Imiquimod, an immune response modifier, has been used by doctors and medical professionals to treat different skin conditions such as genital warts, actinic keratosis (a kind of sun damage), and basal cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer).
Imiquimod is a topically active immune enhancer that stimulates your immune system into fighting damage to the skin, such as genital warts and skin cancer cells.
The Imiquimod works by making cells produce more cytokines like interferon, a protein that is made naturally as part of the body’s immune response that causes inflammation to destroy the abnormal skin cells.
Clinical research on 45 genital warts patients conducted by Medical University of Graz in Austria concluded Imiquimod 5% cream and Podophyllotoxin 0.5% solution have an identical beneficial effect on anogenital warts, with both substances constitute effective and safe treatments of untreated anogenital warts:
There are two strengths of Imiquimod cream available, with both are manufactured by Meda Pharmaceuticals:
#1: Aldara 5% Cream
Aldara 5% cream contains 5% Imiquimod as active ingredient, while its inactive ingredients include polysorbate 60, sorbitan monosterate, glycerin, etc.
Aldara alongside Podophyllotoxin are the most common topical genital wart cream with prescription.
>> Check out detailed product description and info on Aldara.
#2: Zyclara 3.75% Cream Pump
Zyclara 3.75% cream contains 3.75% Imiquimod as active ingredient, while its inactive ingredients include polysorbate 60, sorbitan monosterate, glycerin, etc.
Zyclara is basically the same as Aldara, with the difference is their respective Imiquimod concentration level.
Additional helpful info on Imiquimod creams:
- Imiquimod cream is usually recommended as self-administered topical therapy to treat larger genital warts at home.
- Imiquimod cream should be applied once daily at bedtime (and wash it off 6-10 hours later), 3 times a week for a maximum of 16 weeks or until the lesions resolve. It can often take several weeks of treatment before the genital wart condition improves.
- Mild to moderate pain or redness of the skin might develop after treatment. Some people may experience local inflammatory reactions including induration and ulceration, while hypopigmentation has also been reported. If you encounter the more severe adverse impact that persist during treatment, stop using Imiquimod and consult your doctor accordingly.
- Sexual contact is not recommended soon after the Imiquimod cream is applied to your skin, as it may cause irritation for your partner.
- Imiquimod should not be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Seek medical consultation from your doctor accordingly, even though studies by Università Politecnica delle Marche of Italy on topical Imiquimod 5% cream therapy for external anogenital warts in pregnant women showed 2 (out of the 4) women had partial response with a rate of clearing of 70% and 84% respectively with no impact on pregnancy outcome.
Option 4: Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) – During Pregnancy
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is a chemically destructive acid that burns, cauterizes and erodes the skin. It works by destroying the proteins inside the cells of the genital warts.
TCA is normally prepared in concentrations of 80% to 90% and, given the caustic nature of the solution, requires administration by a doctor or trained medical personnel. If it is not applied correctly, TCA can damage the healthy skin.
The California Department of Health Care Services indicate the clinical practice of TCA genital warts treatment as follows:
- First treat warts in skin regions that are more keratinized, such as the labia majora, since the acid is less likely to cause a painful burning sensation. Paint sensitive skin areas, such as perianal and clitoral lesions, last.
- Carefully apply the TCA solution with a cotton swab by painting each lesion in layers until snow-white.
- If necessary, hasten drying by fanning the treated skin or applying heat from a lamp.
- Once the TCA has dried, neutralize the acid by application of a cold water compress.
- Avoid TCA contact with non-involved skin; if run-off, absorb with tissue or gauze. The use of petrolatum or zinc oxide to protect uninvolved skin is optional.
- Advise the client to use a sitz-bath or cool water compress if there is post-treatment skin irritation.
While Trichloracetic acid is less used due to its corrosive action on skin, it is occasionally adopted by doctors for small HPV warts that are very hard or in pregnant patients, as TCA is the only topical therapy acceptable for use in the vagina during pregnancy.
According to American Academy of Family Physicians and WebMD, TCA is safe to use during pregnancy, whereby TCA has been used in pregnant patients without adverse effects because they cause only local reactions.
The TCA side effects include mild to moderate skin irritation, ulceration, and scarring. Some people may experience an intense burning sensation for around 5 to 10 minutes.
>> Find out more on Trichloroacetic Acid Solution TCA 80% Concentrated Chemical Skin Peel
Option 5: Salicylic Acid For Genital Warts?
Salicylic acid, a bitter compound present in certain plants, is a colorless crystalline organic acid.
Salicylic acid is a keratolytic (or peeling agent) that works by shedding the outer layer of skin, slowly softening the skin layers, and may cause an immune response from the mild irritation caused by the salicylic acid to fight HPV warts virus.
While Salicylic acid has been scientifically examined and revealed to be effective in warts treatment, the clinical results have been limited to non-genital warts only.
For instance, study on 240 patients published by the British Medical Journal shows salicylic acid and the Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen were equally effective for plantar warts removal, with salicylic acid topical treatment is more cost-effective than the liquid nitrogen treatment.
But how about genital warts?
Nonetheless, there are still quite a number of Salicylic acid based wart removal creams in the market that claim to be capable of removing genital warts, including the below:
#1: Wartrin Wart Remover
Containing 5% Salicylic acid as active ingredient, Wartrin wart remover is formulated to treat genital warts, as well as non-genital warts like verrucas, warts on hand, etc.
Wartrin’s inactive ingredients include Tea Tree oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Vitamin E.
>> Check out the comprehensive Somxl review, which points out that this product has consistently received the lowest rating based on Amazon verified purchasers’ feedback.
Additional important notes on Salicylic acid based wart remover:
- Most of the Salicylic acid based products in the market clearly indicate they are NOT formulated for genital warts treatment – such as Compound W and Duofilm gel. So if you choose to use the Salicylic acid approach, read the product packaging label carefully.
- Do not use Salicylic acid based product if you are a diabetic, or if you have poor blood circulation, because there is an increased risk of damage to your skin, tendons and nerves.
Option 6: Natural Wart Removal Creams
The consumer market has never short of skin products with natural ingredients, so thus over the counter genital warts removal cream.
However, there are lack of scientific evidences that prove any specific natural component is effective and safe for self-treatment of genital warts at home.
Just as WebMD points out:
When it comes to natural skin care products, separating marketing claims from science is a challenge.
Pomegranates. Green tea. Mushrooms. They taste great, and scientific studies have shown that they may have powerful health benefits as foods.
But drinking green tea is one thing, putting it on your skin another. Do these botanically based potions, often labeled “natural,” “green,” or “organic,” live up to the hype?
Anyway, it is undeniable that natural products remain an option in the market, especially for those who prefer to treat their skin condition naturally.
Here are some genital warts cream with natural ingredients:
#1: Nevi-Skin Mole and Wart Removal Cream
With all natural herbal extract ingredients, Nevi Skin cream is formulated to treat genital warts, non-genital warts (like verrucas on foot and warts on hand), skin moles, skin tags, and syringoma.
>> Read more on comprehensive Nevi-Skin reviews.
#2: Veregen Cream
Veregen, also sold under the trade name of Polyphenon E Ointment, contains green tea extract named Sinecatechins as active ingredient.
The inactive ingredients in Veregen cream include white petrolatum, cera alba (white wax), oleyl alcohol, propylene glycol palmitostearate, and Isopropyl myristate.
Wart Mole Vanish is formulated to cure genital warts, non-genital warts, skin moles, skin tags, and syringoma.
Genital Warts Cream Review Summary / Recommendations
Genital wart treatment cream that can be applied directly to your skin include:
Correspondingly, here are the best over the counter genital wart cream recommendations and where to buy online, for you to get rid of genital warts at home – regardless whether you reside in US, UK, Canada, or Australia.
It comes as no surprise that Podophyllotoxin / Podofilox creams and Imiquimod cream dominate the top 5 recommendations – not only that these genital wart creams are clinically proven and supported by extensive medical research results, but they are also prescribed by doctor as effective first line genital warts treatment that patients can safely self-administer at home.
|Product Name||Product Image||Product Type||Great For||Where To Buy||Remarks|
|Condyline||Podophyllotoxin / Condylox / Podofilox Cream||Small, mild, and soft genital warts.||EuroClinix /|
Meds4all / HealthExpress.
|Wartec||Podophyllotoxin / Condylox / Podofilox Cream||Small, mild, and soft genital warts.||EuroClinix / |
|Warticon||Podophyllotoxin / Condylox / Podofilox Cream||Small, mild, and soft genital warts.||EuroClinix / |
|Aldara||Imiquimod Cream||Medium to Large genital warts.||EuroClinix / HealthExpress.|
|Nevi-Skin||Natural Wart Cream||Patients that prefer natural treatment.||Nevi-Skin Official Website|
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 100 sexually active adults in the U.S. have anogenital warts at any given time:
- The most usual places where genital warts in men can develop include anywhere on the penile area, on the scrotum, inside or around the anus. Genital warts often appear on the tip of the penis although this can appear around the anus as well, specifically if the virus has been transmitted when performing anal sex.
- Anogenital warts in women usually appear around or in the vagina, anus, vulva, or close to the neck of the womb. Some of the most common areas where the genital warts develop in females are on the cervix, around the vulva, inside or around the anus, inside the vagina and on the upper thighs.
It is common nowadays that people are looking at cost effective over the counter genital warts cream that allows home treatment at their own convenience and discretion.
The key reasons are because not all patients afford the hefty medical consultation fee and genital warts surgery cost, some find doctor visits are time consuming and embarrassing, some have scarring concern caused by invasive surgical procedures.
Before buy genital wart cream online, ensure consult doctor in case you are not sure if your skin lesions are genital warts.
How long does genital wart cream take to work will vary from patient to patient, with some people can take several months to remove the warts – so it is important to persevere.
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