Dr Clayton uses a variety of treatment to help eradicate warts. Mostly he uses topical cantharidin This is an off-license medication that Dr Tim Clayton imports from Canada. Dr Clayton has published prize winning research regarding the use of cantharidin to treat warts.
Cantharidin is a chemical derived from the Chinese Blister Beetle. This insect’s secretion cause blistering in predators, and is used to protect its eggs. French Chemist Pierre Robiquet discovered this chemical, and its properties, in the early 1700’s. Since then, the use of Cantharidin has been perfected and is now a commonly used medical therapy in Dermatology practices. The application of this chemical causes a localized blister, which then peels off a few days later.
Cantharidin is a painless liquid blistering agent that is used to treat a variety of skin growths. It is applied directly to the wart, molluscum lesion, or affected area on the skin. The medication is typically washed off an hour or so after treatment and the skin is left to blister. In general, the blisters typically appear in about 24 hours after treatment. The cantharidin causes cells to release an enzyme that breaks down proteins in desmosomal plaques, specific structures involved in cell-to-cell adhesion. That is, it breaks the bonds that hold skin cells together. The resulting blister forces the wart or skin growth off of the skin. This can be a very effective treatment, but every patient’s reaction can be different. The chemical is known to be painless, although irritation occurs as the blistering occurs beneath the treated area. After the treated area heals there are minimal chances of scarring or marks left on the skin.
As with most medical treatments, there is the opportunity for adverse effects. This treatment tends to have quite mild side effects which rarely include skin tenderness, itching, or burning. Any break in the skin can also make one susceptible to an infection. Proper care of the treated site makes this extremely uncommon. If any symptoms persists for more than a couple of days after treatment, please contact your doctor.
Dr Clayton prefers to use this treatment in children as it pain free compared to cryotherapy. Dr Tim Clayton is able to deliver cryotherapy to individual lesions.