Condyloma Acuminatum is a fancy way of saying genital warts – a common symptom of a Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Genital warts can be alarming and irritating. If you are experiencing genital warts, you are probably wondering how you can get rid of them. Is there anything you can do naturally?
In this blog, we provide ways to respond to genital warts naturally, both internally and externally.
The HPV family
While most of the focus on HPV surrounds cervical cancer, the HPV family includes over 100 different viral strains, each having a slightly different impact on the body. HPV is responsible for common and plantar warts found on the hands and feet, as well as genital warts that grow around the vulva, vagina, penis, and scrotum.
Only a few of the strains of HPV have the potential to become carcinogenic, causing cervical, oral, and anal cancers.
- 90% of genital warts are linked to HPV strains 6 and 11: These strains are considered “low risk” because they rarely develop into cancer.
- 70% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV strains 16 and 18: These strains are known as the highest risk strains and can progress into cancer.
What do genital warts look like?
Genital warts look like soft, fleshy growths. They may appear as a single or in multiples, some describe them as looking like cauliflower. Genital warts can be irritating but are rarely painful.
Genital warts can affect both men and women. The estimated 5-year prevalence of genital warts is 1.3% in men and 1.7% in women.
Warts typically emerge around the genitals a few weeks to two to three months after infection. HPV is easily transmitted from one individual to another through skin-to-skin contact, most commonly through sexual activity. Even if the individual has no symptoms or the warts have gone away, they may still be able to transmit HPV.
If you suspect that you have genital warts, we recommend seeking advice from a medical professional. Other STIs, like herpes or syphilis, can present with similar symptoms and may warrant further treatment. The lesions may also be something harmless like a mole, ingrown hair, or skin tag – so it’s always better to check!
Can I naturally respond to genital warts?
Most people’s immune systems will naturally clear HPV infections in anywhere from a few months to a few years.
The immune system includes several immune molecules like natural killer cells, cytokines, and macrophages that identify and eradicate viral infections. The immune system also keeps cancer cell growth in check through a process of tumor cell identification and cell death.
A few natural compounds have been found to enhance these immune players, leading to viral clearance.
How to respond internally
Green tea extract: Green tea extract is a key player when it comes to antiviral support. Green tea is high in compounds called polyphenols that benefit the immune system. Two polyphenols, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and polyphenol E are effective at treating cervical lesions and warts caused by HPV.
Drinking green tea as well as supplementation has been found to contribute health benefits and support wart clearance. If drinking tea isn’t your thing or you want to amplify your dose, Papillex supplies the recommended daily serving of green tea to support the immune system.
Diet: It is estimated that 80 percent of the immune system is located in the gut. So what we eat and put into the body plays an important role in our immune defense. Eating a diverse array of fruits and vegetables provides ample micro and macronutrients.
Amino acids obtained from proteins are essential for immune function as well as probiotics and fiber to support the intestinal microbiome. We also recommend trying to limit sugar, which can act as an immunosuppressant.
AHCC: Emerging research on a medicinal mushroom extract called AHCC may support the immune system in eradicating HPV that causes genital warts. AHCC has been found to enhance the production of NK cells and cytokines, known for their role in viral clearance. The extract has not been clinically tested on genital warts but has been found to help eradicate persistent high-risk HPV infections in individuals with cervical dysplasia.
Are you ready to respond to HPV?
How to respond externally
Topical treatment for genital warts: Conventional treatment offers several prescription chemical treatments that can be applied topically. Some topical treatments include Podofilox, a gel solution with active podophyllin, has been found to prevent local irritation, and Imiquimod, a topical immune modifier that comes in single-use packets. In addition, there are natural solutions on the market.
Green Tea Extract: Green tea extract has also been shown to have benefits when applied topically. The FDA has approved a standardized extract of green tea leaves for topical use on warts. The extract contains 15% catechins, the potent polyphenols found in green tea.
Research evaluating the use of green tea extract topically found it to be effective and safe. The study evaluated a 10% green tea catechin ointment on over 100 adults with genital warts. The findings showed that those that used the green tea were 2-fold more effective at clearing existing warts and preventing recurrence 12 weeks after treatment.
Tea tree oil: Tea tree is an antimicrobial herb that can be applied topically with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Tea tree oil should not be taken internally or applied to the vaginal canal.
One case report evaluating the use of tea tree oil twice daily with a carrier oil found clearance within 10-20 days for warts to disappear completely. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness on genital warts in larger, randomized clinical trials.
Few people are willing to talk about their experience with genital warts, and this stigma makes it difficult to know what to do. We hope this article gives you an assurance that genital warts are harmless and mostly self-limiting.
If you are having trouble clearing genital warts, there are natural ways to respond both internally and externally. When in doubt, we always recommend you consult with a trusted natural health practitioner to find what works best for you.