Salicylic acid is a common product found in many beauty/skincare products, aspirin and wart treatments.
Salicylic Acid is a keratolytic which causes softening and peeling of the skin. This along with debridement of the lesion in clinic allows the wart tissue to break down and come away, eliminating the virus that causes the wart.
Following assessment to determine suitability, treatment involves debridement of the overlying callus, application of 60% salicylic acid and a dressing is applied, which is advised to remain in place for 3 days and kept dry. A 40% salicylic acid stick is supplied for treatment at home and follow up appointments made with the podiatrist. We usually recommend a weekly or fortnightly review initially switching to monthly depending on progress.
Treatment can often be painful as the lesion breaks down and creates an ulcer like wound which then needs to heal. It can be an inconvenience, with padding required to offload the area or tape to occlude it.
Success rates are variable and warts may resolve within 1-2 months but may also take 12 months or longer. This treatment option often needs a minimum of 3 appointments but can involve at least 10-20 appointments.