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On fire! FDA warns that popular freeze-off wart removers are flammable

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The FDA has released a consumer warning about over-the-counter (non-prescription) cryogenic wart removal products. According to the FDA, there have been 14 reports of "freeze-off" wart removers catching fire during use since 2009. Cryogenic ("freeze-off") wart removers such as Compound W Freeze Off are a mixture of liquid dimethyl ether and propane, and can spontaneously ignite during use, even when there is no source of flame nearby.

FDA nurse consultant Karen Nast says of the 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." FDA dermatologist Dr. Markham Luke recommends over-the-counter products such as salicylic acid as a first-line defense, and adds that consumers should consult with a physician before using cryogenic wart removers at home.

Consumers experiencing problems with any medical product can report them here. Wart sufferers can find more medical information here. Individuals interested in more information from the FDA about over-the-counter wart removal products can consult the FDA website.

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