Salicylic acid is a common treatment used in the battle against irritating and sometimes dangerous skin conditions. It is often found in medicated lotions, washes, ointments and creams and it can be used to treat a host of common skin problems, including warts and plantar warts, acne, psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis (skin and scalp), corns, skin calluses and dandruff.
Caution: Before you use salicylic acid.
Salicylic acid comes in many forms and the product you use will come with instructions; it is very important that you read the dosage and usage instructions before you start using the product. Your doctor will discuss how to use the treatment and how it works and they will also ask you about any allergies or reactions you have experienced to determine if the treatment is safe for you.
Salicylic acid may not be suitable for pregnant women, children, elderly patients, women who are breastfeeding and patients who are already taking different forms of medication; your doctor will determine whether it is safe for you to use salicylic acid and then explain how you should use the medication.
Using salicylic acid for wart removal.
It is common for patients with warts to be advised to use plasters, which contain salicylic acid; the plasters are placed over the top of the wart. Patients are advised to follow the instructions for using plasters. For example, some plasters are designed to be worn over night, while others are designed to stay in place for 48 hours, it will specify on the pack the duration of time that a plaster can be used for safely.
It can take up to 12 weeks for the wart to be removed. Plasters are an effective treatment because they ensure that the wart is the only part of the skin that comes into contact with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid can harm unaffected skin and it is important to be very careful if you are using topical creams or lotions.
How does salicylic acid remove warts?
Salicylic is a very effective treatment for warts; research suggests that it is as effective as cryotherapy (freezing off the wart). Salicylic acid works by softening the layers of skin, which form the wart. Once the skin layers are soft and weak, the wart can be removed using a skin file or a pumice stone. It is very important to throw the stone or file away after you have used it to remove the wart, as using it again can cause the virus to spread.
There is also some evidence to suggest that using salicylic acid triggers a response from the immune system; the immune response helps to fight off the HPV (human papilloma virus), which causes warts to develop.
Advantages of using salicylic acid to treat warts?
Salicylic acid lotions and plasters are widely available from pharmacies, as well as on prescription and they are easy to use, inexpensive and effective. The treatment is safe and painless, but it may have to be repeated several times over a period of time for successful results.
Salicylic acid should not be used by patients who have underlying health problems or on moles or birthmarks; ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before using salicylic acid.
Are there any side-effects?
In most cases, there are no side-effects, but it is important to try and avoid contact with the skin around the wart. You can do this by using a ring-shaped plaster to ensure that you treat the wart only. In some cases, salicylic acid can cause scarring (this is rare). If you experience irritation after using salicylic acid, see your doctor and stop using the product.
Homemade Salicylic Acid.
You can make a homemade salicylic acid to remove your warts. Salicylic acid is naturally found in nature and is used to make aspirin. To make natural salicylic acid to remove warts you’ll need to crush 2 to 3 aspirin pills and add 3 to 4 drops of water until it creates a paste.
Wash your hands and then apply the homemade salicylic acid to the affected areas. This home remedy will penetrate deep into your skin and remove dead skin cells and warts. For the most effectiveness you’ll need to leave the homemade salicylic acid on the affected area for 10 minutes until it dries up. Use warm water and a rag or cotton ball to clean your face off.
‘James Dunphy is a writer focusing on healthcare and dentistry. Currently he is working on educating people in the field of oral healthcare and inconspicuous invisible braces such as the Damon system.’