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*Cantharidin is used to remove warts, typically after other methods of treatment have failed.

Cantharidin a type of terpenoid, is a poisonous chemical compound secreted by many species of blister beetle, and most notably by the Spanish fly. It can be used to remove warts if other methods have failed, such as Salicylic acid or freezing a wart with liquid nitrogen. Cantharidin may be effective against some warts that are resistant to other treatments. It can also be used to remove tattoos.


Cantharidin is painted on your wart by a medical professional and covered with a bandage. There is typically no pain. After the Cantharidin is applied, it will cause the skin under the wart to blister, lifting the wart off the skin. When the blister dries, the wart comes off. Your medical professional will remove the dead skin and the wart. In some cases, a second treatment may be necessary to remove the wart.

Side Effects

Cantharidin may cause tingling and itching on the applied area, and the skin where the wart resides will be tender for up to six days.

Notes of Precaution

* Salicylic acid should be the first form of treatment; Cantharidin should be used only as a backup treatment.

* Cantharidin should not be used on or near the genital area.

* Do not use Cantharidin if you have diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, or other circulatory problems.

* Cantharidin should not be used on open wounds, moles, or warts with hair growing out of them.

* Cantharidin is very poisonous. Ingesting even a small amount can be fatal or cause permanent renal damage.