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Aldara Use for Genital or Perianal Warts

Genital warts are a common and bothersome problem. Symptoms of genital warts include skin-colored growths, much like warts on other parts of the body. They are usually not painful.
Male genital warts usually occur on the penis, and female genital warts can occur outside on the vulva or inside the vagina or cervix. Genital warts can also occur on the scrotum or anus. Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus virus (HPV).
HPV warts are common and are easily spread through sexual contact. Condoms do not fully protect against HPV, as they often do not cover all of the warts.
Treatment for genital warts includes several ways to remove the warts, such as with chemical treatments or freezing. Talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options for genital warts. Over-the-counter (OTC) wart products should never be used for the treatment of genital warts. There is no cure for genital warts; the warts may disappear and return on their own.
Aldara may help your body get rid of genital or perianal warts. Studies show that more people using Aldara had a complete disappearance of their warts, compared to people using a cream that did not contain any active ingredients (a placebo).

How Does It Work?

It is not entirely clear why Aldara works to treat actinic keratosis lesions, basal cell carcinoma, or genital warts. However, it is thought that the beneficial effects of the drug might be due to how it activates the immune system.

Is It Safe for Children to Use Aldara?

Aldara is approved for treating genital or perianal warts in people age 12 and older. For basal cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis, it is approved only for use in adults. The drug has been tried for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum in children, but studies have shown that it is not effective for this use.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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