Freeze Those Warts - And More

Along with topical treatments for warts, there are also freezing treatments and surgical treatments. These treatments are necessary, depending on the size and severity of your warts. Your doctor will recommend certain treatment choices for you depending on your individual situation.

Freezing Treatments

Cryotherapy is a process where you put very cold liquid nitrogen, nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide directly onto the warts. This process destroys the warts. This is used to treat internal warts on the vaginal, cervic and anus as well as external warts. This procedure usually takes between 5 and 15 minutes depending on the size and number of warts you have. This process may be quite painful both while the procedure is being done and afterwards. You may want some local anaesthetic to help with the pain.

You may notice a discharge for a few weeks after treatment. This is actually a good sign and one that shows that your body is healing. You should not use tampons or have intercourse for 2-4 weeks after the cryosurgery, or until the discharge has stopped. This is thought to be one of the safest treatment options for genital warts during pregnancy. The rate of recurrence is usually about 10-40%.

Surgical Treatments

If all other treatment options including chemical treatments, topical treatments and freezing treatments don't work, it may be necessary to remove the warts surgically. Surgical treatments for warts involve mild to moderate pain. You'll either need local or general anaesthetic and these treatments are either done in a hospital or in an outpatient facility. There are a few options for surgical removal of warts.


The warts may be cut away through excision. This is usually only done as a final option if you have only a few, large warts that are easy to get to. There may be some scarring and the area will be tender or sore for a day or two after the treatment. The return rate for warts after excision is about 20%.

Diathermy or Electrocautery

This process destroys the wart tissue with heat from an electric current. During this procedure, the doctor will burn the warts off. This procedure may be quite distressing for some, as the doctor will literally burn the warts off and create a smell of burning skin. Recurrent rates with electrosurgery are about 25%.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments vaporize the warts. This is a very precise treatment that can be used to reach warts in hard-to-reach areas. It has a low risk of damage to surrounding tissue. The procedure is often quite loud since it is done by having smoke, created from the vaporizing tissue, extracted by the machine.

After Treatment

After surgery of any type, it is recommended that you avoid sex for 2-4 weeks. If you've had internal warts removed you may have a discharge for a few weeks after the surgery as well. You should avoid using tampons and should wait until the discharge stops to have sex. If you don't feel well, at any time after the treatment, you should return to your doctor to be checked for a secondary infection.