Non-Prescription Creams and Pads for Treating Warts

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With so many different options out there for the treatment of warts, there is plenty to choose from even if you just head out to your local chemist’s. There are a host of different options for a number of different warts, and for many people the first port of call is non-prescription treatment. These are simple to obtain, hassle free, often quite effective, and well-advertised, but when choosing a non-prescription solution there are a number of factors to consider.

What warts are non-prescription treatments good for?

Over the counter wart treatments can be extremely effective at dealing with warts, particularly those in less sensitive areas which should often be left for doctor prescribed treatments. Non-prescriptions are therefore ideal for warts on your hands and feet for instance, but should be avoided for genital, facial, and oral warts where the nature of the environment the wart is in makes some treatments unsuitable.

What kind of non-prescription treatments should I look for?

It can often be confusing to head to the chemist’s and look at a row of different wart treatment options in virtually every shape and size. Fortunately with a number of key points in mind, you can filter through the maze of products on sale and find yourself a solution that works for you and deals with your warts in a quick and hassle free manner.

The key ingredient in most over the counter wart treatments is salicylic acid, a substance which deals with warts while not aggravating the skin round it too much. Salicylic acid is actually obtained from the bark of willow trees and has many broad uses, particularly in other drugs (like aspirin) and treatments (like acne creams). The acid is actually also part of prescription options, albeit in higher doses which is why they aren’t available over the counter.

Salicylic acid is delivered through either adhesive pads or in a bottle as a cream or other topical application. When using this form of treatment you need to regularly clean the wart(s) and surrounding areas before applying the acid, and then proceed to remove the dead cells on the surface of the wart left behind by the action of salicylic acid. This regime needs to be regularly practiced until the wart is completely removed, which can take up to or even over 3 months.

You can also get what are called caustic pencils over the counter. These basically deliver a small amount of silver nitrate which must be applied six times a day. Silver nitrate can stain your skin and potentially cause permanent discolouration, which is why the measures and instructions included with the medication should be followed to the letter. The potential risk of staining can put many people off caustic pencils in favour of salicylic applications. You can also get some home cryosurgery kits which while effective tend to be quite costly. These aim to freeze off warts, and basically turn the wart into a kind of blister which comes off after a few days leaving your skin fairly pristine and free of irritation. It has a number of advantages over other treatments like laser in that it keeps any irritation of your skin to a minimum.  

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