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Over-the-Counter Treatment for Plantar or Common Warts
By Staff Writer

Treatment for Plantar or Common WartsPlantar and common warts are small, dry growths on the skin caused by a virus called human papilloma virus. Salicylic acid is the only over-the-counter considered safe and effective in treating them. Most people need several weeks of treatment before the wart completely disappears. Warts may come back, even after successful treatment. Salicylic acid works by dissolving the tough skin layers of the wart. It's very important to avoid getting it on the surrounding healthy skin. You will get faster results if you soak the area for five minutes in warm water before applying salicylic acid treatments. Be sure the area is clean and dry before using the medication. Salicylic acid products are available in various forms such as gels, solutions and medicated discs that vary in strength and directions for use. Some examples are Dr. Scholl’s® Clear Away® and Compound W® One Step Pads for Common and Plantar Warts. Read the product’s label carefully and follow the directions provided. You can use these products for up to 12 weeks. If the wart doesn't disappear, talk to your doctor. If you have diabetes or circulation disorders, notice any oozing or bleeding or have painful warts, you should see your doctor before using any over-the-counter wart remover.

Sources: Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. American Pharmaceutical Association, 1996.The Merck Manual of Medical Information: Home Edition. Merck & Co., 1997.Habif, Thomas. Clinical Dermatology. Mosby-Year Book, Inc., 1996.Drug Facts and Comparisons. Facts & Comparisons, 2007.This answer prepared 7/18/2000.This information updated 1/2/2007.

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