If you have external vaginal warts you may want to try a new treatment that has recently become available.
Zyclara, a topical cream, which up to now has been prescribed for treating actinic keratosis, a scaly skin disorder similar to warts, has recently been trialed as a way of treating external vaginal warts. The results of this clinical trial were presented at the annual Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Conference held in Montreal, Canada, in July 2010. Researchers found that this cream containing a 3.75% dose of an active ingredient called imiquimod helped to clear up external vaginal warts in almost 70% of cases.
Imiquimod comes in the category of an immune response modifier (IRM) drug and helps to activate the body's immune system. One of the things the researchers were investigating was the optimum dose of the drug. They found that a lower formula, which only used a 2.5% formula, was not quite as effective as the 3.75% cream.
Patients trying the creams used them once a day for 8 weeks. Both women and men used the formula. For reasons the researchers don't know, the Zyclara cream was almost twice as effective in clearing up women's external vaginal warts as it was in treating men's penile warts. This was a double blind trial and both creams performed statistically significantly better than the placebo.
This cream contains imiquimod in a slightly stronger formula, 5% instead of 3.75% and is also effective in treating external vaginal warts. The treatment regime is longer, usually about 16 weeks, and is slightly more effective than the Zyclara cream. As the Aldara cream is stronger, you have to use it three times a week over the time period to help prevent adverse reactions. However, unless you are a very organized person it can be more difficult to remember when to use it, whereas you use the Zyclara cream every day.
Only Treats Symptoms
It is very important to realize that whichever type of topical cream you use to treat vaginal warts, they only treat the symptoms, not the cause. As the warts are caused by the HPV virus and are passed on by sexual contact, it is necessary to avoid sex in any form while the warts are present. As both these creams can also weaken condoms and diaphragms, you also shouldn't have sex while you are using the cream even if you don't have any visible warts. Moreover, as the researchers don't yet know if either formula has any effect in preventing transmission of the disease, you shouldn't take any chances.
Remember, even if someone doesn't have any visible genital warts they can still be infected with the virus. Genital warts can take anything from a few weeks to a few months to show up after you are infected with HPV. So remember to always use a condom to help protect you from sexually transmitted diseases like HPV.
Better still, only have sex in the context of a long-term mutually monogamous committed relationship.