-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Flammable
over-the-counter wart removers have started fires, injuring at
least 10 people in recent years, the U.S. Food and Drug
Since 2009, the FDA has received 14 reports about some
"cryogenic" wart removers that "freeze" the growths off the skin.
In several cases, combustion occurred when the products -- a
mixture of liquid dimethyl ether and propane -- were used near a
Ten people have suffered singed hair, blisters, burns or skin
redness, the agency said.
"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.
In three of the reports to the FDA, there was a candle nearby.
But no ignition source was identified in the other 11 reports.
"This is extremely concerning, especially because people may not be aware that everyday household items like curling irons and straight irons can be hot enough to be an ignition source for these products," Nast said.
In the incidents reported to the FDA, the wart remover dispenser
generally caught fire when it was releasing the mixture, the agency
Nast said that even though the FDA has received only 14 reports
of fires linked to cryogenic treatments, such occurrences are often
under-reported. She urged consumers to tell the FDA about similar
experiences. "It's important for us to know when and how problems
like this happen," she said.
You can report device-related problems through the FDA's
If you use a cryogenic wart remover, use it only as directed,
follow all warnings, and use it in a well-ventilated area, FDA
dermatologist Dr. Markham Luke said. He noted that there are other
options for treating warts.
Your doctor can remove warts using treatments such as surgical
paring, laser or liquid-nitrogen freezing treatments, he said.
"The advantage is that the health care professional has been trained in providing the treatment safely and under controlled conditions," Luke said.
Alternative over-the-counter treatments include salicylic acid,
which softens or loosens warts so they fall off or are easy to
remove, the FDA said.
However, Luke said warts often disappear without any
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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