Keratolysis for Warts


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With so many different wart treatments available, it can become quite confusing to deal with so many complicated technical words that don’t give you much of an idea as to what the treatment involves. Keratolysis is one such solution to warts, and despite its effectiveness remains surrounded by some confusion as to what the procedure actually entails. This article will provide useful information about keratolysis and its usefulness as a treatment, and hopefully answer your questions and get you one step closer to figuring out which wart treatment is for you.

What is keratolysis?

Keratolysis refers to a particular mode of wart treatment that involves removing dead skin from the surface of a wart. The treatment is quite effective and can be easily performed at home with non-prescription options as well as with some prescription creams and gels. The most popular and often used treatment is salicylic acid, a willow tree extract that is used for a number of different skin conditions. The acid is either provided as a liquid or cream or on a pad which you stick over your warts.

Essentially keratolysis involves using a substance like salicylic acid to wear away the wart, after which an abrasive surface like an emery board or pumice stone is used to remove the dead skin left behind.

The effectiveness of a product with salicylic acid depends on the wart, how stubborn it is, and how much of the acid makes its way into the wart. The final part is dependent on how the salicylic acid is formulated, whether it is as an alcoholic solution, an absorption ointment, simple ointment, or something similar. Talking to your pharmacist or GP will help determine which of these types of products work best.ß

How does keratolysis work?

The two phases of keratolysis, namelßy the chemical treatment and the abrasive removal of dead skin, work quite differently to slowly wear down a wart and remove in anywhere from a few weeks up to 3 months. The first phase involves salicylic acid making its way into the centre of the wart, where it binds to cells containing the human papilloma virus causing warts. The acid then does its work to kill off cells with the virus which form the wart, which are then removed by either a pumice stone or an emery board to allow further treatments more access to wart cells.

How long does keratolysis take to get rid of a wart?

Keratolysis can take up to 12 weeks to remove some warts, and much less for others. It all depends on the size of the wart and how stubborn it is. It is important to maintain a regular regime of applying the treatment and removing the dead skin to ensure that keratolysis is achieving its full effect. Irregularly applying treatment will mean that keratolysis will take much longer.

Is keratolysis suitable for me?

Keratolysis is very effective, particularly considering the cost and the ease with which it can be performed. It is important to remember however, that salicylic acid is a big component of the treatment, and as an acid it is an abrasive substance which makes it unsuitable for warts on parts of your body like your face and genitals. These areas should always be treated with more care, but if you suffer from warts on your hands or feet then keratolysis is a great option to consider.


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