Salicylic acid – among the most common wart treatments

Salicylic acid is a corrosive, acid-based solution that is one of the most common wart treatments. It can be purchased over the counter and is available in varying formulations as a liquid, gel or patch.

Salicylic acid softens the wart and causes the surface cells that are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) to peel off. Even when it is applied daily, salicylic acid is a relatively slow treatment method. It can take several weeks before you start seeing any results and two to three months before the whole wart is removed. Salicylic acid is considered well tolerated but can occasionally cause mild skin irritations like redness, dryness and soreness during treatment.  

Salicylic acid for warts removal

When using salicylic acid for warts removal it is recommended that you file down any white, dead tissue with a pumice stone or nail file before treatment. This will help the solution penetrate deeper into the tissue. You can soften the wart or verruca by soaking it in warm water for 5-10 minutes before removing the dead skin. After soaking and filing the wart you apply the solution with the applicator that is included, and cover it with a band aid. This process is repeated daily, preferably just before bedtime, until the wart disappears. If the treatment is successful the wart should disappear within three months. Be careful not to use the file or pumice stone on other parts of your body, or the area around the wart, since it contains infected cells that can cause the wart virus to spread to healthy skin. 

Who should use salicylic acid for warts?

HPV is contagious and for that reason warts should be treated as soon as they occur. Many people use salicylic acid for warts removal as a first step. It is inexpensive and considered safe with few side effects. However, since salicylic acid treatment increases the risk of damage to your skin, nerves and tendons, you should not use it if you have diabetes, peripheral arterial disease or other health conditions that affect your circulation. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult your doctor before using a topical salicylic acid wart remover. 

A newer option for home treatment of warts is formic acid, which can be used by the whole family, including children under four, diabetics and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Wart removal with formic acid

Formic acid has been shown to eliminate over 9 in 10 warts, how does it work and who should use it?

What are the alternatives to salicylic acid wart treatment?

Some people prefer to let their warts disappear on their own. However, this could take two years or longer, and in the meantime you risk spreading your warts to other parts of your body, as well as to family members and other people that you come into contact with. 

Home treatments

The vast majority of warts can be removed at home with an over the counter solution. Formic acid has been proven to remove nine out of ten warts1 in 12 weeks, with an average treatment period of just 4-5 weeks. EndWarts PEN contains formic acid, dehydrates the wart from the inside and causes your body to reject it. It is an effective wart treatment pen that can be used by the whole family. Please consult a Healthcare Professional for children under 4 years.

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) ormonochloroacetic acid (MCA) are other treatment options that do not require a prescription from a doctor. 

Clinic treatments

If over the counter treatments have failed, or your warts have recurred, you can ask your dermatologist or doctor about treatment at a clinic. Burning warts or freezing warts (cryotherapy) are two common clinic treatments. Other options may be laser removal or surgery (curettage). Although you can get instant results from a clinic treatment, it is a more expensive option. Additionally, clinic treatments can be more painful than home treatments and sometimes leave scars on the skin.

1 2001 Topical formic acid puncture technique for the treatment of common warts.

Ramesh M. Bhat, MD, DVD, DNB, Krishna Vidya, MD, and Ganesh Kamath, MBBS, DVD



Endwarts PEN

EndWarts PEN

Precise application

Contains the same powerful and effective acid as the original EndWarts. This product is developed and designed with the consumer`s needs and desires in mind. A safe device for convenient handling.