After receiving an influx of injury reports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned people this week to be careful when using wart removers because it doesn't take much for the flammable substances to catch fire.
According to an FDA report, 10 people in the last five years have suffered blisters
or singed hair and skin after using over-the-counter wart removers. Four others reported cases of the product catching fire and burning household items. The agency notes that the actual number of cases is likely much higher, but that many incidents go unreported.
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Wart removers generally comprise a mixture of liquid dimethyl ether and propane that work to "freeze" the growths off the skin. But if used in the vicinity of a heat source like a candle, cigarette, or even something like a curling iron, the removers can combust.
"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. "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."
The FDA advises people to use the wart removers away from any type of heat source or open flame.
Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and generally disappear on their own without treatment, according to LiveScience.com
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