May 11, 2000
I have anal warts now. Can I make them go away at home without a prescription?
Response from Dr. Pavia
I don't think you are going to have much luck treating anal warts at home. The non-prescription treatments for warts generally use salycylic acid that needs to stay in contact with the wart but not the healthy tissue for hours, usually through a tape or bandaid.
Small anal warts can be frozen off by most doctors. Larger ones can be frozen, lasered or burned off with electricity, but more extensive work is usually done by a colo-rectal surgeon. Where there are external warts, there are often warts in the canal, which also should be treated. In HIV-infected persons, they will usually keep growing if left untreated. There is also an association with anal cancer and warts.
So, while it is not much fun, and there are lots of reasons to want to avoid it, you should get a referral to a doctor who routinely deals with anal warts, and has a reputation for using good pain control. As they say in the Nike adds, just do it...
Andrew T. Pavia, M.D.
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