Treatment of common warts and plantar warts includes the use of over the counter formulations such as Compound W. The OTC product contains the active ingredient salicylic acid, a keratolytic agent that removes the outer layer of the skin affected by warts. Compound W is presently available in various forms such as liquid, gel, and medicated pads. A frequently asked question is the white color formation around the affected area upon application. Following subsections offer a detailed look at the product, including answers to the question – Compound W – first treatment day it is all white around, is this normal?
Conditions that can be treated with Compound W
Compound W is primarily used for the treatment of common warts and plantar warts. Common warts, also known as verruca vulgaris, typically appear on the hands, fingers, or around the nails. Plantar warts, typically develop on the soles of the feet and can cause discomfort or pain while walking. Compound W products containing salicylic acid are effective in treating these types of warts and the salicylic acid helps to remove the outer layer of the wart. This removal gradually eliminates the wart over time. Use of Compound W is not recommended on genital warts, facial warts, or warts with hair growth. Though Compound W is a commonly used treatment for warts, it is highly recommended to seek expert advice from a healthcare professional; to confirm the diagnosis and choose the appropriate treatment option.
Application of Compound W
The application method varies depending on the product, and typically involves applying the solution or pad directly to the wart and permitting it to dry. The salicylic acid works by breaking down the thickened skin layers of the wart over time, causing it to gradually shrink and disappear. Patients diagnosed with diabetes, poor circulation, or patients with warts on sensitive areas of the body are to seek expert advice prior to use of Compound W.
Mechanism of action of Compound W
The active ingredient Salicylic acid works through a keratolytic mechanism, and is also believed to have multiple effects on the skin, as listed below
- Disruption of wart tissue: Salicylic acid softens and breaks down the keratin, the protein that makes up the outer layer of the skin. This helps dissolve the thickened layers of the wart, leading to its gradual removal.
- Increased moisture penetration: Salicylic acid enhances the penetration of moisture into the skin, and hydrates the wart and loosen its structure. This softens the wart tissue, making it easier to remove.
- Stimulation of immune response: Salicylic acid also stimulates the local immune response in the skin. It attracts immune cells to the site of the wart, promoting an immune reaction against the viral infection that causes the wart. This immune response aids in the clearance of the wart.
- Exfoliation of dead skin: Salicylic acid has exfoliative properties, and removes dead skin cells. This action helps in the removal of the wart by sloughing off the dead tissue and promoting the growth of healthy skin.
Overall, the application of Compound W with salicylic acid leads to the gradual breakdown and removal of the wart, typically over a period of several weeks.
Side effects of Compound W
All medications, including topical applications come with the possibility of undesirable outcomes and Compound W is no exception. While most individuals are known to tolerate it well, a section of users may experience certain adverse reactions. Commonly reported side effects of Compound W include:
- Skin irritation: Salicylic acid can cause local skin irritation, including redness, itching, burning, or stinging at the application site. This is usually mild and temporary. However, if severe irritation occurs, discontinuation is recommended.
- Skin peeling: The keratolytic action of salicylic acid may lead to skin peeling or dryness around the treated area. This is a normal response as the outer layers of the skin are being exfoliated. Applying moisturizer after treatment can help alleviate dryness.
- Allergic reactions: Some individuals may develop an allergic reaction to the ingredients in Compound W. Signs of an allergic reaction can include rash, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing. If any of these symptoms occur, immediate medical attention and intervention is necessary.
Compound W – First treatment day it is all white around, is this normal?
It is not uncommon for the skin around the treated area to turn white after applying Compound W or other products containing salicylic acid. This can be a normal reaction and is often due to the keratolytic action of the acid. As outlined above, Salicylic acid works by breaking down the outer layer of the skin, including the thickened layers of a wart. This causes the skin to temporarily appear white or pale in the treated area. This effect is generally harmless and subsides after a short period of time.
However, severe or prolonged skin whitening may require medical attention to determine continued use or discontinuation.
How to prevent and manage the white that forms around treated area when Compound W is applied?
To prevent and manage the white appearance that can form around the treated area when using Compound W or similar products, users are to ensure the following:
- Proper application: Ensure proper application of Compound W solution or gel directly to the wart and avoid application on healthy surrounding skin. Use of a precision applicator or protective pads helps to target the wart specifically.
- Protect healthy skin: To protect the surrounding healthy skin, apply petroleum jelly or a thick moisturizing cream as a barrier before applying Compound W. This can help create a barrier and prevent excess contact with the acid.
- Follow instructions: Instructions provided with the Compound W product are to be followed. This includes the recommended application frequency and duration to avoid excessive exposure to the salicylic acid.
- Remove excess solution: After applying Compound W, excess solution is to be removed from the skin surrounding the wart. This can be gently wiped away using a clean cloth or tissue.
- Moisturize: Application of a moisturizer to the healthy skin surrounding the treated area helps prevent dryness and minimize the occurrence of white discoloration.
- Avoid picking or scratching: Users are to avoid picking, scratching, or peeling off any white or peeling skin. It is important to permit natural exfoliation or softening before gently removing it.