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FDA Warns About Wart Removers

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At least ten people have been injured by flammable over-the-counter wart removers that have started fires in recent years, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The agency has received 14 reports, since 2009, about some “cryogenic” wart removers that “freeze” growths off the skin. Combustion occurred when the products – a mixture of liquid dimethyl ether and propane – were used near a candle. Ten people suffered singed hair, burns, blisters and/or skin redness.

“The labeling for these products clearly states that they are flammable and should be kept away from fire, flame, heat sources and cigarettes,” FDA nurse consultant Karen Nast said in an agency news release.

The agency is particularly concerned because many people may not realize that everyday household items such as curling irons can be hot enough to be an ignition source for these products, Nast said.

While the agency is aware of 14 reports, it is concerned there are likely more as some are often under-reported. Consumers are urged to report any incidents to the FDA by using the MedWatch alert system.

The FDA has more information on this warning and also provides more information including alternative wart treatments.