Intralesional Interferon Injections Kill the Human Papillomavirus to Cure Genital Warts For Good
There are ways to remove genital warts. Before we talk about it, let us talk about the virus that causes the warts. Genital warts, medically termed Condylomata acuminata is a highly infectious disease caused by human papillomavirus. It enters the body during sexual intercourse with an infected partner through skin-to-skin contact. However, not all wart-like growth in the genital or perianal area is genital wart. Therefore, it is important to have it diagnosed before undertaking any mode of treatment.
See a dermatologist first. Depending upon the condition of the warts the doctor may prescribe different options for removing genital warts. Let us discuss few of them:
• Patient applied treatment involves applying different creams, gels and lotions in the prescribed dose for a prescribed period at a correct interval on external warts only. Using them too much, too often and for too long may cause irreparable damage.
• Liquid Nitrogen cryosurgery is doctor applied genital wart treatment. Under this process, the warts are killed using liquid nitrogen.
• Killing the warts by using Trichloroacetic acid, Bichloroacetic acid, Podophyllin resin (Podofin), Fluorouracil (Efudex, Fluoroplex) etc is less effective than cryosurgery and is not safe for use in vagina, cervix etc. Besides, there can be very bad side effects including fever, nausea, confusion etc.
• Surgical excision and laser ablation are two more methods of removing genital warts. They have greater risk of scarring. Laser ablation is more expensive than surgical excision, but not necessarily better.
• According to some, Intralesional interferon injections applied locally is the best method of removing genital warts.
There are mainly two types genital wart treatments, patient applied and doctor applied. Following are some basic facts that you should know:
• Let us first make it clear that there is no cure for human papillomavirus, the cause behind the genital warts. It can only be cleared by body’s immune system. As long as the virus remains in the body, the genital warts will keep appearing even after being removed. The virus can however, be kept under control by some kind of immunological response. Regular treatment of warts too can slow down the replication of the virus.
• Almost all treatments have the potentiality to cause depigmentation or scarring. There can be other side effects too.
• Genital warts that have grown on the outer skin and are within easy reach can be treated with patient applied topical medications.
• Warts grown inside the vagina or the rectum need doctor applied genital warts medication
Now, what is interferon? Interferon is a protein produced by the cells in response to challenges posed by viruses, parasites and tumor cells. They are anti viral in nature and can fight tumors. They have another important function too. As an infected cell dies from the cytolitic virus, thousands of viruses will infect the nearby cells. However, if the immune system of the body is strong enough, the infected cell releases interferon, which warns the other cells of the presence of the virus. The cell that has been pre-warned now produces enzymes that starts a complex process, which kills the HPV in the end.
The Interferon injection is not given to pregnant women. If you are pregnant then you need to tell the doctor immediately. The Interferon injection is not administered to pregnant women because this medication may harm the growing fetus. Like the other genital warts medication, Interferon also has some side effects. Some of the side effects are muscle aches, chills and fever, pain near the injection site, hives, temporary decrease in the white blood cells, and a decrease in the blood platelets.
Although the Intralesional interferon is well tolerated by most of the patients, it has some side effects. Some common adverse effects are temporary decrease in the white blood cells and blood platelets, flue like symptoms, increased body temperature, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, convulsion dizziness etc. Hardness on the spot of injection is also very common.
Another minus point of Intralesional interferon is that though it is quite effective it is not that consistent, which means that reappearance of warts cannot be totally ruled out, in spite of it being one of the costliest modes of treatment. That is why many patient look towards alternate medicines to cure genital warts. Some of them promise to eradicate Condylomata acuminata from their roots and vouch that the warts once removed will not reappear.
Talk to your doctor frankly. You must learn about the different modes of treatment and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Choose one that you can afford. Podofilox is the first line of treatment because of its low cost, while Intralesional interferon is quite expensive. While skin erosion and pain are more commonly reported in the former, the side effects of the later are more easily tolerated.
If you know of some friends who have undergone the particular genital warts treatment then they can guide you with the treatment process, and the other details. Most genital warts fall off on their own, but there few stubborn warts that remain for longer time durations. If you can bear the discomfort, most doctors will advise some topical treatments and if you cannot bear the discomfort, then the doctors will directly recommend a surgery.