Genital warts are the most common disease transmitted by sexual contact, according to Medline Plus, and around half of all sexually active people will contract the disease that causes warts. While many treatments involve prescription medications, there is some evidence that alternative products such as green tea extract may play a role in genital wart treatment. Before using green tea extract to treat your condition, talk to your doctor for his recommendations.
Genital warts are caused by HPV, which is the human papilloma virus, and are often small and not easy to see. Untreated, women with genital warts caused by HPV may experience complications during childbirth and have a higher risk for certain types of cancer, according to Medline Plus. Traditional treatments include external medications and surgical interventions.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea leaves have long been used as a natural treatment for many conditions, mostly in their steeped form as a beverage. However, green tea extract is available in capsule form and as a topical ointment. Medline Plus reports that green tea has a soothing effect on skin, and has been used to treat sunburns and reduce puffiness around the eyes. Green tea extract can be used to treat genital warts as well, though the evidence for its use refers to its ointment form, not the oral form.
Scientific Evidence and the FDA
Green tea ointment is “likely effective” for genital wart treatment, based on scientific research. In fact, a specific green tea ointment has been approved by the FDA. Its generic form is called sinecatechins. While it comes from natural green tea products, sinecatechins requires a doctor’s prescription. Sinecatechins is a treatment for existing genital warts; however, Green tea extract does not cure the disease that causes them. Warts can come back even after thorough treatment.
Guidelines and Precautions
You must talk to your doctor to get a prescription for green tea ointment. Even though green tea is natural, Report all prescriptions and health conditions to your doctor at the time of consultation to avoid potential interactions. Green tea extract can cause side effects. It may cause irritation to the area of application, and may even cause allergic reactions in other parts of the body. Report any unusual symptoms to your doctor. If you continue to be sexually active, extra precautions may be necessary. Wash the area thoroughly before engaging in sexual activity – the extract may weaken condoms.
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