Generic name:Salicylic acid (keratolytic) - topicalPronunciation(SAL-i-SIL-ik)Brand name(s)Duofilm , Virasal
salicylic acid 17 % topical liquid
This medication is used on the skin to treat common skin and foot (plantar) warts. Salicylic acid helps cause the wart to gradually peel off. This medication is also used to help remove corns and calluses. This product should not be used on the face or on moles, birthmarks, warts with hair growing from them, or genital/anal warts.
Salicylic acid is a keratolytic. It belongs to the same class of drugs as aspirin (salicylates). It works by increasing the amount of moisture in the skin and dissolving the substance that causes the skin cells to stick together. This makes it easier to shed the skin cells. Warts are caused by a virus. Salicylic acid does not affect the virus.
Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is for use on the skin only. To avoid irritation, do not let this medication come into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, groin, or any broken skin. If you do get the medication in those areas, flush the area with cool water for 15 minutes. Wash hands after use.
First, soak the corn, callus, or wart in warm water for about 5 minutes to soften the treatment area. Dry thoroughly. Your doctor may direct you to use a pumice stone, callus file, or emery board to carefully remove the top dead layers of skin after soaking and before applying the medication. This dead skin removal is only to help the medication work better. Do not try to rub the wart or callus off.
If you are using a liquid/gel, apply a few drops or a thin coat of the medication to cover the entire wart, callus, or corn using the applicator if provided. Be careful to apply it only to the affected area and not the surrounding skin. Let dry for 5 minutes. Depending on the brand used, you may need to apply the medication twice with each treatment. Check your product package and follow the directions carefully. You may cover the area loosely with a bandage. Repeat this procedure 1 to 2 times daily for up to 2 weeks for corns and calluses and 12 weeks for warts or as directed by your doctor.
If you are using a medicated pad or bandage, you may need to cut the pad so that it covers the treatment area completely but does not touch the surrounding skin. Peel off the protective covering and place the patch/bandage over the area. Leave in place according to package directions. Remove and place a new patch/bandage as directed (usually every 8 to 48 hours depending on brand). Repeat this procedure for up to 2 weeks for corns and calluses and 12 weeks for warts.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, product type/brand, and response to treatment. Do not use large amounts, apply this medication more often, or use it for a longer period than directed. Your condition will not clear faster, but the chance for side effects may be increased.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
Slight burning, skin redness, and peeling may occur. These effects are expected. If any of these effects worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:
- spreading skin redness around the treated area
- signs of infection (e.g., pus, milky/bloody discharge)
- formation of a deep sore (ulcer) at the treatment site
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using salicylic acid, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-NSAIDs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:
- poor blood circulation (e.g., peripheral vascular disease)
- skin infection/irritation
If you are going to have an MRI test, tell testing personnel if you are using the patch. Some patches may contain metals that can cause serious burns during an MRI. Ask your doctor whether you will need to remove your patch before the test and apply a new patch afterward, and how to do so properly.
Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they are more likely to have blood circulation problems that may make it more difficult for the skin to heal.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using salicylic acid. Salicylic acid may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant while using salicylic acid, talk to your doctor right away about its risk and benefits.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
If you are using this product under your doctor's direction, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you use any of the following:
- other products used on the treated skin
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication for you, do not share it with others.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Information last revised June 2018.
Copyright(c) 2018 First Databank, Inc.
Selected from NATIONAL DRUG DATA FILE (NDDF) data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc., 2018. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your health care professional. You should consult your health care professional before taking any drug, changing your diet, or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.