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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Avatar universal

imiquimod or surgery?

I'm 47 and was recently diagnosed with genital warts. I probably had the first one nearly two years ago,I was also going through menopause and honestly did not think much about it. Last January however I noticed more appearing. I never for a moment even thought they were warts until I saw an episode of Girls and the subject was genital warts..I began to panic and scheduled an appt with my nurse practitioner. Upon examination she thought they were skin tags and gave me a test to rule out warts. Little did I know then there was no such test. A few days later I received a call from my Dr's office saying the test came back negative. So for more than 6 months I thought I merely had skin tags, as they spread. About 2 months ago I went to my Dr (not the nurse practitioner)to talk about my anxiety and menopause. I mentioned about the skin tags and how they were affecting my sex life. I explained about my visit with the nurse practitioner back and Jan. Upon looking back at my records she discovered that I had been given a herpes test!!! I was pretty upset and made it clear that I never mentioned herpes..even I know there is a huge difference between herpes, a wart and skin tags. I was referred to a gynecologist who suggested trying imiquimod. I decided to try tea tree oil, before trying imiquimod. The tea tree seemed to increase the itch, so I filled the imiquimod. I've since tried one application, I should be applying again this evening, but this point I am so stressed about the whole ordeal, I am thinking I should just get them surgically removed. They are now around my vaginal area, labia up to my anus  (I apologize for being graffic...but I don't feel comfortable talking to anyone about this). I feel it's consuming my daily life and sleep. Should I stick with the imiquimod or just get the surgery?
2 Responses
Avatar universal
It depends on the speed of the recovery you want. The cream tends to take longer to remove them and the surgery is quicker. But there are always risks to surgery that don't occur with creams.  For most people, they do not. Most people use the cream for 2-3 months and then have surgery if they keep coming back.

IMO (not a medical opinion), the faster they are gone, the better. If you can manage to keep them away for 3-6 months, you could become non-infectious. During recovery, do not have sex as it could result in more warts. Stay relatively sober, no cigs, get more rest, exercise more, meditate, take vitamins and supplements that boost your immune system, eat healthy, etc. Stay away from sick people too. Use this time to recover your health and to let you immune system fight this virus.
Avatar universal
I had surgery to have mine remove. It was a 0.3mm size growth in my anal opening. The doctor that did it is an HPV expert and told me the sooner they're gone the better. If they stay longer then the virus can shed its particles to surrounding skin and that's how more warts appear.if the lesion gets removed surgically then the warts come appear that the same spot again. But you're not off the hook the first 6 months, and they can always come back so you gotta monitor it daily. In my opinion the best way to remove them is to have them surgically removed as they can also remove the base of the wart and then it heals.
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