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Does Salicylic Acid Work on HPV Warts?

There are many products used as medical treatments against warts, one of them are those made from salicylic acid.

If you have a wart and are wondering whether to apply salicylic acid, keep reading, we explain how effective it is, how to apply it, and some aspects you should consider.

Is salicylic acid effective for warts?

Young woman using salicylic acid

Salicylic acid, being a keratolytic substance, is used to treat warts, acne, and other dermatological conditions. It acts directly on the lesion by burning the superficial layer of the skin in order to dry it out and have it fall off.

The effectiveness of salicylic acid will depend on the type, location, and degree of affectation of the lesion. This topical is not recommended for treating genital warts, as it is a sensitive area that can be affected by the action of the acid.

Taking into account the above, salicylic acid serves to treat warts except those that are located in sensitive areas such as the genitals and face.

Ways to use salicylic acid for warts

Woman looking at herself in the mirror.

You can find products with salicylic acid in different presentations: cream, patch or adhesive tape, and ointment.

The best-known presentation is topical salicylic acid. The procedure to apply it is as follows:

  1. Soak the area where the wart is located in water. This way you will soften the skin and the medicine will penetrate more easily.
  2. Apply the salicylic acid to the wart in the dose indicated by the doctor. We recommend doing this at night and covering it with a bandage.
  3. After at least 8 hours, rinse the area very well and remove the dead tissue using a file. At the end, discard the file, this way you will prevent the lesion from spreading to other parts of the body.
  4. Repeat the procedure once a day until it falls off. After several days of treatment, you will see how the wart tissue is softer and removes easily.

The estimated time to cure the wart with salicylic acid is 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the type of lesion.

Recommendations for using salicylic acid for warts

Woman thinking

If you are going to use salicylic acid as a treatment for warts, we recommend that you take into account the following:

  • Remember that, although each medication includes usage instructions, you should follow the doctor’s indications that are adjusted according to your type of lesion.
  • Do not change the dose indicated by the doctor, otherwise you can burn the area or suffer some complications.
  • Avoid contact of this substance with eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Do not apply it on cracked, irritated or infected skin.
  • Try to apply it only to the wart, do not spread it to the surrounding tissue as you can burn the skin.

In case that after applying salicylic acid you see that the area is red or suppurating, you have persistent pain or any other reaction, you must stop the treatment and go to a doctor for evaluation.

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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