Warts - OTC Treatments

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Have you tried OTC treatments for warts? Please share your experience.

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Is using over-the-counter wart treatments safe?

You can't damage yourself with these OTC treatments. If you get salicylic acid on normal skin, it can cause burning or redness but never infection or scarring. All you have to do is stop using it on irritated areas and the skin returns to normal. Still, it's probably better not to use salicylic acid on sensitive areas like the face or groin, where it's likely to make nearby skin raw and uncomfortable.

It generally is recommended that salicylic acid not be used in people with diabetes or in areas where there is poor circulation (because of concern about how normally the skin can heal; however, in practice, salicylic acid is withheld only when there are clear signs of ongoing inflammation of the skin).

Likewise, nonprescription freezing products are also reasonably safe but must be used carefully and only according to package instructions because they work by destroying living tissue.

Return to Warts (Common Warts)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Singer, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

On the basis that a wart may be a parasite, and having heard about the use of duct tape, I simply covered the very new, fast growing one on the back of my leg with ordinary clear nail varnish, replacing it after a bath. It very quickly went black, and after three weeks, I peeled off the nail varnish and the whole wart cleanly came off. There was a little bleeding but the skin was otherwise clear.

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Comment from: jimdkc, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I"ve had good luck with over the counter freeze treatments for warts in the past. It usually takes about 3 applications, 2 weeks apart to work. However, I currently have a very stubborn wart on the pad of my little finger. It"s been there for several months, and the freeze treatments only seem to make it bigger and more prominent! I"m thinking of trying a salicylic acid treatment next.

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