Wart treatment question

I’ve recently (meaning I just noticed them - I’m not sure when they actually became noticeable) developed two warts, one on a knee and one on a finger. They’re both relatively small at this point, and I need to treat them to get rid of them. I’ll probably try the ‘cover it with a small piece of duct tape’ method before moving on to other methods if necessary. But that’s not the question.

I was looking at treatments at the drugstore recently, and noticed one specific treatment had a single active ingredient: salicylic acid. Now, I know that aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, and I know they’re in the same family, the salicylates.

My question is this: could I produce a similar wart eliminating effect by crushing aspirin, mixing it with, say, water to form a paste, and then applying that to the wart and covering it with some type of bandage to keep the paste on it?

Would it work or is acetylsalicylic acid enough different from salicylic acid that it would just (potentially) irritate my skin without affecting the wart?

I wouldn’t bother trying. The acetyl group, if I remember correctly, was added to salicylic acid (which was used as a painkiller before aspirin was invented) in order to make it less harsh on the stomach, which I presume means it’s less acidic. I don’t remember my organic chem classes enough to confirm it, but I would suspect the ground up aspirin wouldn’t do much.

Yes, you can do this. Some of my older patients report this as the cure used on them when they were young.

But you must do it daily for weeks or months. And watch out for local normal skin irritation.


Well, I guess you showed me, what with all your credentials and world experience!


You can now buy a treatment over the counter to freeze off the warts. I’ve bought it, but haven’t tried it yet. Qadgop, Do you have an opinion about freezing warts?

I have no opinion on the over the counter freezing preparations. But I’ve frozen thousands of the little buggers myself, either with liquid nitrogen or with “Histo-Freeze”.

I’d fear that the OTC product might not get it cold enough. Then again, it might.

Just one drop of concentrated nitric acid per wart will do the trick.

But then it was a good many years ago when I had to get rid of warts.
You can’t just walk in to a supplier and buy a bit of conc. nitric anymore.

I heard that if you swing a dead cat over your head in a cemetary during a full moon all your warts will fall off…

No, that would be your pants.