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.