What is Cervical Escharotic Treatment for Abnormal Pap?
Specialized in-office treatments called cervical escharotics are an effective natural option for many cases of cervical dysplasia and HPV, and tend to have a lower risk profile than the LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) commonly used by conventional gynecologists. The term “escharotic” refers to the sclerosing and exfoliating effect of an application of medicine to abnormal tissue, meaning that the abnormal tissue loses water, dies and eventually sloughs off.
Cervical Escharotic Treatment
Natural treatments for cervical dysplasia, HPV, and abnormal PAP results vary depending on the severity of the atypical cells found on the PAP or colposcopy. In addition to a normal result there are 3 levels of abnormality:
- ASCUS – Abnormal Squamous Cells of Unknown Significance
- Low Grade Dysplasia
- High Grade Dysplasia.
A result of “ASCUS” suggests mildly abnormal cells which have minimal clinical significance. This will often resolve on its own with no treatment. Low Grade and High Grade Dysplasia generally require additional treatment. For all types of dysplasia, the natural treatment process involves systemic anti-viral treatment through a combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs and homeopathic medicines. This systemic support boosts your immune system’s ability to fight viruses, and is one of the main differences from the conventional surgical procedure.
In the presence of low grade dysplasia, local treatment of the cervix is combined with systemic treatment. This usually consists of the use of natural suppositories consisting of herbs and vitamins. The treatment length depends on the details of your individual case, but will usually be from a few weeks to a month or two. The PAP exam is repeated after treatment to assess your progress of healing. If there is high grade dsyplasia present, an herbal escharotic treatment may be indicated as the local treatment depending on the colposcopy results. When the escharotic treatment is used, it is often combined with systemic treatment and the self-administration of herbal suppositories.
Natural Escharotic treatments start with the local application of a natural enzyme, Bromelain, to the surface of the cervix. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple that breaks down the walls of abnormal cells. This is left in place for 15 minutes, and it essentially dissolves away the top layer of cells on the cervix which are infected and damaged by the HPV virus. The bromelain is then washed with an herbal solution which stimulates the regrowth of normal tissue and is very soothing to the irritated tissue. This is followed by the application of Sanguinaria canadensis tincture, a plant known as bloodroot, which is mixed with a solution of zinc chloride, and left on the cervix for one minute. The cervix is washed again with soothing Calendula, then herbal vaginal suppositories that have anti-viral properties are inserted and left in overnight.
The treatment is performed 2x per week for approximately 6 weeks. The advantage of the Natural Escharotic method is that it is actually far more sophisticated than the LEEP procedure, which damages a great deal of normal tissue in addition to cutting away the damaged cells. The Natural Escharotic treatment also includes aspects to stimulate the regrowth of normal tissue, which the LEEP procedure does not. The only disadvantage of this treatment method is that it requires two office visits per week for 1-2 months. Because of the health benefits compared to conventional treatment, however, most women prefer this more gentle, natural method of treatment.
To start the Escharotic treatment protocol, patients must first make an initial appointment with Dr. Emily Dashiell, ND to have a full evaluation and determine if the Escharotic treatment is appropriate for them.