Genital warts can be a minor problem that is never seen or problematic to some sufferers. For the unlucky, genital warts are instead a constantly occurring, annoying issue that returns year after year just when you thought they were gone for good. There are a few reasons genital warts can reappear after going away but all hope is not lost. Fortunately there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood of keeping warts at bay permanently. Our in-depth article below contains all the information you need.
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Recurring warts explained
Recurring genital warts are warts that return after a period of clearance. This can happen for many reasons and can frequently occur after a genital wart removal treatment. To discover if genital warts ever go away on their own, check this link out. Some cases of genital wart recurrence is rather quick, with new warts showing up in 6 months or less since being completely wart free. Other cases can take years to return. Regardless of the length, when warts return it is an overwhelmingly frustrating scenario that can impact your life and sexual activity.
One thing is certain, the return of genital warts does not mean you have a new infection within your body. HPV causes genital warts and is a virus so remains in your body along with the antibodies to defeat it. Warts that return frequently are merely a sign that the viral infection is getting stronger, or there is an opportunistic state your body is in that is helping the warts thrive. This also means you are more infectious. See our info about genital wart transmission here. There are some real risk factors for why this occurs which will be discussed in the next section. The important thing is to avoid giving up hope. You do not have to tolerate suffering from genital warts, there are multiple remove options and ways to fight constant recurrence.
How often do the warts recur after treatment?
In the case of wart removal treatments, the speed and likelihood of genital wart recurrence varies between different types of treatment. The general recurrence rate across all forms of treated warts remains at about 30%.
Many cases of wart return are due to incomplete treatment, especially in the case of self-administered creams. Be sure to follow the instructions on your prescription regarding how often and how long to use it to clear up your warts. Failure to do so can not only fail to remove them all but also make them come back.
Laser removal therapy is the treatment with the highest likelihood of recurrence, which is why it is not recommended in almost all cases. Laser removal has an over 75% chance of genital warts returning, combined with scarring, the issues far outweigh the benefits. An FDA approved ointment made from green tea called Veregen currently has the lowest recurrence rate out of all treatments for genital warts at less than 10%. The remaining forms of treatment all have rates of recurrence that vary significantly, so be sure you ask your physician when considering your options.
What are the risk factors associated with wart recurrence?
The number one risk factor associated with the return of genital warts is the suppression of your immune system. Genital warts thrive when your immune system is too weak to keep your HPV infection suppressed. This can make your warts last longer. To learn how long genital warts last see this article. Typically people believe that a weak immune system means you must be sick, but this is not always the case. You can have a weakened immune system without necessarily being sick.
Here is a list of surprising things that can effectively weaken your immune system and thus leave you open to wart recurrence:
- High stress,
- Poor diet,
- Lack of sleep,
- Being overweight or obese,
- Medications you may take.
Pregnancy is a risk factor for wart recurrence, both due to the hormones that increase wart growth and spread and the weakening of the immune system due to sharing it with your baby. Recent antibiotic use can also reduce your defense against recurring genital warts. The extra help you give your body with these medications naturally allow it to work less hard which can be a weakness for infections like HPV once you stop. Smoking is yet another major risk factor for wart recurrence. This should be unsurprising as smokers get sick much more often than nonsmokers. The toxic chemicals from daily smoking consistently put your body in a fighting state, leaving your immune system weak against any infection or potential illness.
It can be hard to break bad habits or vices, especially if you didn’t know they impacted your immune system poorly. Start slow, don’t try to make sweeping changes overnight or you may revert to your old habits. Most importantly, do not stress out about the return of warts, stress doesn’t help and in fact makes your body’s immune response slower.
How to minimize the recurrence of genital warts
There are only three reliable ways to minimize recurring warts:
- Effective wart removal treatment.
- Lifestyle changes.
- Vitamin and mineral supplementation.
The first of course is to use a treatment that has a very low rate of recurrence in general. Most of these treatments are prescription only creams those which contain immune stimulants and encourage your body to destroy the warts. They perform better than simply removing a wart via any surgical procedure as this doesn’t exactly address the underlying cause or remaining infectious skin. However, if you want to reduce the recurrence of warts naturally, there are two better options.
The second step when trying to keep warts at bay naturally should be focused on what you can do immediately to give your immune system a chance in the fight against warts. Bad habits that keep it in a weakened state such as smoking, drinking alcohol and not getting enough sleep should be stopped or reduced as much as possible. Getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet should also be a priority as there are more benefits for this simple change than just reducing the likelihood of wart recurrence. While you may not be able to prevent the return of warts during pregnancy, speak with your doctor about safe options for you and your child that will strengthen your immune system.
The third way to minimize the recurrence of genital warts is to boost your immune system through vitamin and supplement usage.
Here are most of the vitamins and supplements you can use to help make sure genital warts stay away forever:
- Vitamin C,
- Vitamin B-6 and B12,
- Vitamin A,
- Folic Acid,
- Vitamin E,
The list may appear daunting, but most people do not need to take each of them to have the desired effect. Research has shown B complex vitamins and calcium to have the greatest impact on genital warts. Ideally you should seek to get your vitamins and minerals from the foods that contain them, but a daily multivitamin can always help. Don’t overdo it, and speak with your physician before beginning any intensive supplementary regimen to make sure you are on the right track.
The repeated return of genital warts can be a literal nightmare for anyone. There are many risks that make it difficult to control recurrence, such as pregnancy. Luckily, in most situations keeping warts away is not difficult if you know how. Strengthening your immune system through lifestyle and diet changes can go a long way towards keeping your warts under control and permanently at bay. Often this can be achieved simply by choosing a better removal method adapted to your individual situation. Regardless, there are options so you don’t have to suffer forever from genital warts.