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Potassium Hydroxide for Warts (genital, plantar and others)

Before making the decision to surgically remove HPV warts, various medical and natural options are sought to treat them. One of the sought-after topical treatments is potassium hydroxide.

But does it work? Yes, potassium hydroxide does work for warts, and here we will show you the correct way to use it.

Steps to use potassium hydroxide to treat warts

Woman looking at herself in the mirror.

You can purchase potassium hydroxide-based topicals at pharmacies in various commercial presentations. The best thing about these products is that they come with the right composition for wart treatment.

The procedure to apply potassium hydroxide to treat warts is as follows:

  • Wash and dry the area where the wart is located thoroughly. Ensure your hands are clean and handle the lesion as little as possible.
  • Apply the topical on the lesion. We recommend doing it with a swab to avoid contagion to other parts of the skin.
  • Let it act for a few hours and wash well. Repeat the procedure twice a day or as prescribed by a doctor until the wart is removed.

In case you see the wart area burned, reddened, swollen or feel pain/itching, you should go to the doctor.

Why is potassium hydroxide effective for warts?

Woman looking at herself in the mirror.

Potassium hydroxide is an organic compound widely used in cosmetic and industrial products. It is the main ingredient for the manufacture of liquid soaps, nail cleaners, bleaches, shaving creams, insecticides, herbicides, and even fertilizers.

Due to its cauterizing and corrosive properties, it is a potent topical treatment against warts. It acts by penetrating and destroying the outer layer of the skin, altering the protein substances of the tissues.

Clinical trials have been conducted that prove the effectiveness of this compound. In one of them, a group of patients with warts was gathered, and they applied 5% to 20% potassium hydroxide daily, removing the lesion in a maximum of 30 to 60 days.

One of the most notable aspects of this clinical trial is that no adverse effects were reported during the study period.

In another study, the effectiveness of potassium hydroxide was compared to other treatments, such as cryotherapy, and no significant differences were found.

This compound was also studied compared to imiquimod and salicylic/lactic acid and were equally effective. One point in favor of potassium hydroxide is its low cost compared to cryotherapy.

Therefore, due to all its properties, potassium hydroxide has become one of the main treatments for warts because of its effectiveness and because it is not so invasive.

Are there risks in using potassium hydroxide for warts?

Potassium hydroxide can be very corrosive if not applied in the right concentration. It causes burns of varying degrees to the skin depending on the amount applied.

Its ingestion causes abrasion and pain in the mouth, throat, and stomach. Therefore, it is recommended to use an aqueous solution that includes between 5% to 20% potassium hydroxide.

These were some tips to help you know how to deal with HPV. However, there is much more you need to do if you really want to get rid of HPV and warts forever.

What you need to do is GET RID OF THE ROOT of the problem.

For that reason, I recommend you to look into Dr. Kirkland's story and how he was able to cure HPV and get rid of warts for good.

Click here to see what he did

I wish you great success in your recovery!


Medically reviewed by Dr. John Wellington. Dr. John Wellington is a board-certified physician specializing in urology. With over 15 years of experience, he is passionate about sharing his knowledge through a popular health blog. Dr. Wellington holds an MD from Ivy League University and is a member of prestigious medical associations.

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