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Copyright 1996-2023 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.02.
Generic name: salicylic acid topical [ SAL-i-SIL-ik-AS-id-TOP-ik-al ]
Brand names: Acnevir, CeraVe SA Renewing, Compound W, DermalZone, Dermarest Psoriasis Skin Treatment, . show all 14 brands Dr Scholl’s Corn Removers, Freezone Corn Remover, Keralyt, Mediplast, Salex, Scalpicin Scalp Relief, Stri-Dex, Wart Remover, Xalix
Drug classes: Topical acne agents, Topical keratolytics
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Aug 3, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.
What is Compound W?
Salicylic acid is a keratolytic (peeling agent) that causes shedding of the outer layer of skin.
Compound W (for the skin) is used in the treatment of acne, dandruff, seborrhea, or psoriasis, and to remove corns, calluses, and warts.
Compound W may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Compound W can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. Stop using Compound W and get emergency medical help if you have: hives, itching; difficult breathing, feeling light-headed; or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Compound W if you are allergic to it.
Using this medicine in a child or teenager with flu symptoms or chickenpox can cause a serious or fatal condition called Reye’s syndrome.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe to use if you have:
- liver or kidney disease;
- diabetes; or
- blood circulation problems.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How should I use Compound W?
Compound W is available in many different forms, such as liquid, gel, lotion, cream, ointment, foam, soap, shampoo, cloth pads, and skin patches.
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin.
Compound W can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. Apply a very small amount of the medicine as a “test dose” to 1 or 2 small skin areas every day for 3 days in a row. If you do not have a reaction to the medicine, begin using your full prescribed amount on the 4th day.
You may need to shake the medicine before use. Follow all directions on the product label.
Do not use Compound W to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.
Your symptoms may not improve for several days. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
Store Compound W in the original container at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
Keep the foam canister away from open flame or high heat. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty aerosol canister.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Compound W is used when needed. If you are on a dosing schedule, skip any missed dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medicine.
What should I avoid while using Compound W?
Avoid using Compound W on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, or irritated skin.
Rinse with water if this medicine gets in your eyes or mouth.
This medicine may be flammable. Do not use near high heat or open flame. Wash the medicine off your hands before handling a hair styling appliance (such as a curling or straightening iron). High heat could cause the medicine to ignite and burn your skin. Do not smoke until the gel has completely dried on your skin.
Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with Compound W, unless you doctor tells you to.
Compound W side effects
Compound W can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. These reactions may occur just a few minutes after you apply the medicine, or within a day or longer afterward.
Stop using this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching; difficult breathing, feeling light-headed; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Also stop using Compound W and call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe headache, ringing in your ears, problems with hearing, thinking problems;
- severe stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- shortness of breath; or
- severe burning, dryness, or irritation of the skin.
Common side effects of Compound W may include:
- minor skin irritation, rash, or peeling; or
- changes in the color of treated skin (usually whitening).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Compound W?
Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use, but many drugs can interact. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Where can I get more information?
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Frequently asked questions
- Compound W – First treatment day it is all white around, is this normal?
- How to properly use Compound W Liquid?
- I used Compound W on a plantar wart for a month and it has fallen off. Do I need to keep using it?
More about Compound W (salicylic acid topical)
- Check interactions
- Compare alternatives
- Reviews (4)
- Side effects
- Dosage information
- Support group
- Drug class: topical acne agents
- En español
- Advanced Reading
- Compound W Plus Topical (Advanced Reading)
- Compound W Topical (Advanced Reading)
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2023 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.02.
Compound W Freeze Off® Wart Removal
Easily and effectively remove warts in as little as one treatment. It’s the same method that doctors use, but can now be done in the convenience of your home.
- Precision tip applicator targets the wart and provides protection for surrounding healthy skin
- Destroys the wart in as few as 1 treatment
- Starts working instantly
Precision Tip Applicator – Provides protection for surrounding healthy skin while delivering cold to where it’s most needed.
Unique Design – Unlike other leading brands, the precision tip applicator is attached to a handle that allows for an easier, more controlled application.
Precision Tip – Delivers a more concentrated freeze than other leading brands
Use As Directed.
- Attach the applicator (stick with the foam tip) to the handle as shown. Firmly press the stick into the opening in the middle of the handle.
- Place the aerosol can firmly on a table or other sturdy surface. Caution! Do not hold the spray can near your face, or over parts of your body or clothing.
- Insert the handle, with the applicator attached, into the top of the canister. Line up notches in handle with the openings in the top of the canister.
- Keeping the canister upright and holding the canister firmly with one hand, press the handle downward until you hear a hissing sound. Continue to hold down for 2 to 3 seconds to saturate the applicator. You will hear a hissing sound for the entire period.
- After releasing the handle, wait 30 seconds, and then remove the handle with the attached applicator from the canister. The foam applicator should be saturated with cold liquid and have a frosty appearance. You may also smell some dimethyl ether.
- Lightly press the foam applicator for several seconds on the wart that is to be frozen. Do not swab. Compound W Freeze Off® should be applied immediately. Hold the foam applicator on common warts for 20 seconds or less. Smaller warts may require less than 20 seconds.
- When treating warts on the top of fingers and toes, slowly move the fingers or toes while administering treatment. There will be an aching, itching, or stinging sensation during treatment.
- Discard the foam applicator after a single use, taking care not to touch the foam applicator with bare hands, to ensure that re-infection with the wart virus does not occur. Wash hands after treatment.
Use: For removing common and plantar warts. Suitable for adults and children over the age of 4. Danger – Extremely Flammable. Content under pressure. Keep away from fire or flame and from source of sparks or ignition, including mobile phones, radios, and other electrical appliances. Do not smoke while using Compound W® Freeze Off®. Do not pierce or burn aerosol spray can, even after use. Piercing the pressurized canister or exposure to the heat may cause the container to explode, causing serious injury. Protect all components from sunlight and do not expose to temperature above 120° F (50° C). Store all components at room temperature away from heat. Warnings: Keep Out of Reach of Children. Avoid contact with eyes. Do not inhale vapour/spray and use only in well-ventilated areas. Breathing vapour/spray may be toxic. Do Not Swallow. For External Use Only. Use this product only if you are sure that the skin condition is a wart. If you are not sure consult your doctor. Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information on the container or the Information Leaflet. Do not use if you cannot clearly see the wart you are treating. Use only as directed. If this product is not used exactly as instructed or if you mistakenly use it on conditions that are not warts, it may cause serious burns and permanent scarring on the skin. Caution:
Do not use this product if the cone is stuck to position “1” after activation; and/or if you do not hear the “hissing” sound during activation (release of aerosol); and/or if the “hissing” sound continues after activation; and/or if the tip does not become cold after activation. An “icy surface” should become visible on the metal tip. In case one or more of the above-mentioned conditions are not fulfilled, the device may not be functioning properly. Failure of the device may lead to injury or insufficient/incomplete treatment. The metal tip is coated with nickel, which may cause allergic reaction. If being used by more than one person, and/or after each application, clean the applicator with alcohol on a small piece of cloth. Do not treat each wart with this product more than three times in total. Consult your doctor if three treatments have not led to improvement.