Sixty women with genital warts were randomly allocated to treatment with either weekly application of 20% podophyllin solution or self-treatment with 0.5% podophyllotoxin cream twice daily for three days in weekly intervals. After a maximum of 4 treatment cycles a final assessment was carried out after 3 months. Primary clearance after termination of treatment was 82% for podophyllotoxin and 59% for podophyllin solution. After excluding relapses at the 3-month follow-up, final clearance for podophyllotoxin (71%) was significantly better (P < 0.05) than that for podophyllin solution (48%). The total frequency of warts eradicated was 94% with podophyllotoxin and 74% with podophyllin solution (P < 0.001). Local adverse effects were generally mild or moderate. Podophyllotoxin cream provides a mode of easy application for women with external genital warts and had in this study a significantly better effect than podophyllin solution.