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Warts: Using Salicylic Acid

Overview

Salicylic acid to remove warts is available in many forms. These may include a liquid, gel, pad, or patch that you put on the wart. Be sure to read and follow the instructions that come with the medicine, or follow your doctor's instructions. Salicylic acid may take weeks to months to cure a wart.

Here are some tips to follow for best results.

  • Soak the wart in water before applying salicylic acid.

    This helps help loosen and soften the skin so the medicine can penetrate the skin more easily.

  • Apply salicylic acid to the wart when you go to bed.

    Cover the area with a bandage or sock, and wash off the medicine in the morning.

  • Avoid getting salicylic acid on your unaffected skin.

    Salicylic acid should touch only the wart.

  • Repeat the application as instructed.

    With repeated application, salicylic acid causes the wart tissue to become soft so that it can be rubbed off easily.

  • Remove dead tissue daily or once or twice a week.

    Carefully use a file or as instructed on the medicine package. Dead tissue contains living wart virus, so dispose of the dead skin carefully. The file will also have living wart virus on it, so throw it away after using it to avoid spreading the virus.

  • Stop using the medicine for 2 to 3 days if the area becomes too tender.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: March 3, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Ellen K. Roh MD - Dermatology

 

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