Salicylic acid is the most used BHA, also known as Beta Hydroxy Acid, used in various blemish combating skincare products. Known for its potency and ability to slough away a layer of dead skin cells and work deep in the pores, clearing them of debris, bacteria, excess sebum, and other impurities.
Thanks to its unique way of working on the skin, salicylic acid is also an effective ingredient used as a wart treatment. But how exactly does it work at ridding the skin of warts, let’s investigate together and find out how you use salicylic acid to remove warts.
What is a wart?
Warts and verrucas normally appear as small lumps on the skin surface. They are usually caused by a virus that is highly infectious which can spread rapidly via contact between the skin and infected areas. They are often harmless and have no pain, usually disappearing of their own accord, though many find using specifically formulated products will increase the healing process and rid the skin of warts easily.
The most common way of contracting warts is when there is a transmission of the virus caused by touch. Once the infection has taken hold, it can take up to two to six months for the wart or verruca to develop on the skin.
Now, you have a brief insight to how warts develop, let’s now explore further into finding out how salicylic acid can help cure warts.
Can salicylic acid remove warts?
Yes, it certainly can. You may find that salicylic acid is one of the most common treatment for warts. This is because as an ingredient, it is generally tolerated by many when used for wart removal. Many over-the-counter wart removal formulas will often contain salicylic acid with various amounts of strengths available, some products containing as much as 40 percent of the BHA.
The way salicylic acid works on the skin is by exfoliating away dead skin cells until you find the wart has completely disappeared. The main difference of using a salicylic acid enriched formula for removing warts, compared to other skincare products is ensuring precise application is vital to prevent the spread of more warts.
How long does it take to remove a wart with salicylic acid?
You will see a noticeable difference to the wart immediately after applying salicylic acid. You’ll find the wart turns black in the first 1 or 2 days which, although doesn’t look very pleasant, is a sign the skin cells covering the wart are dying and ready to fall away. With the correct application the wart can take 1 to 2 weeks to fall away from the skin. If you are suffering from frequent warts or find you have a flare-up of many at any one time, you may have to use your salicylic acid treatment twice a day for over 12 weeks.
If you find it shows no signs of leaving, its best to consult with a doctor to discuss further actions to take.
How do you use salicylic acid on warts?
It is thought the best over the counter (OTC) formulation contains 17 percent of salicylic acid. All treatments are different, so always ensure you read the instructions on the packaging. I would also suggest you consult with a doctor before trying any treatment products to avoid unwanted skin reactions or side effects. Here is an example of how to use salicylic acid to rid yourself of warts.
How to use salicylic acid wart treatment:
- You need to firstly wash the area you plan to treat. Soak the wart in warm water for 10 minutes until the skin surrounding it has softened.
- Next take a clean and disinfected file, pumice, or emery board and buff the rough surface of the wart.
- Apply the salicylic acid treatment directly onto the surface of the wart.
- Dispose or disinfect the tools used to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap.
- Repeat this step once or twice a day, depending on the severity and size of wart.
One common result of using this treatment is the skin surrounding the wart will become red, this is nothing to cause too much concern. If you find the skin feel uncomfortable, itching, blistered, or some bleeding, then stop using the product immediately and seek the help of your doctor.
Can I cut warts off myself?
No, absolutely do not cut a wart off yourself. Although many may have attempted this in their bathrooms and expressed some success, it is very short lived and extremely risky! This is since cutting the wart will only result in it growing back. Cutting a wart will also not cure the infection and the likelihood of spreading the virus will occur with a flare-up of more warts. You also put yourself at risk of causing injury and increased chances of developing a painful infection.
There are various ways of treating warts that are highly effective and won’t result in you reaching for a pair of scissors! Some wart treatments are peeling, freezing, and exfoliating finding the best one for you to use is the easier than ever to find. If you ever have any concerns its best to consult with your doctor or dermatologist to ensure you are using the best product for you.
What is the fastest way to remove a wart at home?
There are a couple of home remedies you can try to rid yourself of a wart quickly. However, just a word of warning, if you wish to use any of these methods at home you must first seek the advice of your doctor or trained medical professional. Now, here are some of the most natural ways of getting rid of a wart fast at home.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a mild acid that can effectively remove the wart and all aspects of its infection from the skin. It’s best to not use neat apple cider vinegar and this can be too much for the skin, so mix one part vinegar with one part water. Soak cotton balls in the mixture apply and tape the cotton ball using a bandage, leaving it overnight. It may take a couple of nights for the wart to fall off, but many find it a gentle way of treating the virus.
Garlic is a highly potent antiviral extract due to the compounds called allium sativum. The easiest way of getting the quickest results is filing the surface of the wart with a pumice and then placing the glove directly onto the infected area. Repeat this everyday using a different garlic glove each time until the wart falls off.
There are so many options available for at home remedies, but as I have already stressed, it’s best to consult with a doctor before trying anything at home.
I hope today I have answered some of your questions about using salicylic acid to remove warts, don’t forget if you have any other questions you can come and find out of our skincare experts on Instagram.