Condyloma accuminatum, also known as genital warts, are sexually transmitted. They are usually skin colored, may be rough or smooth, and can appear on any area of the genital region including inside the vagina, on the cervix, on the anal verge and within the rectum. In women, some types of genital warts are associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer while, in men, peri-anal warts may carry a risk of squamous cell carcinoma. Careful follow up with a gynecologist or a proctologist, respectively, is necessary in these cases.
There are a variety of modalities utilized in the treatment of warts. Most commonly, warts are destroyed using cryosurgery (freezing), electrosurgery (burning), or application of an acid. An alternative approach is immunotherapy, in which the body’s immune system is triggered to fight the wart using a variety of agents (e.g. imiquimod, cantharidin, Candida antigen). Additional options include injectable chemotherapeutics (e.g. bleomycin) and other medications that prevent the wart virus from dividing (e.g. podophyllin). Regardless of the modality employed, repeat treatments are usually required.