13.7 Preparations for warts and calluses

NHS England (NHSE) has published new prescribing guidance for various common conditions for which over-the-counter (OTC) items should not be routinely prescribed in primary care (quick reference guide). These conditions include warts and verrucae.

Many products for warts and verrucae are cheap to buy and are readily available OTC along with advice from pharmacies. Some self-care medicines are available from shops and supermarkets. Please click here for further information, exceptions, and a patient leaflet.

Salicylic acid / Lactic Acid
  • Paint (salicylic acid 16.7%, lactic acid 16.7%) (£1.71 = 10ml)
  • Gel (salicylic acid 11%, lactic acid 4%) (£2.88 = 5g)

Anogenital warts

  • Cream 5% (£48.60 = 12 sachets)


  • Warts (external genital and perianal)


  • Apply thinly 3 times a week at night until lesions resolve (maximum 16 weeks)


  1. The routine commissioning of imiquimod 3.75% (Zyclara®) is not accepted in Devon for the treatment of actinic keratosis (see Commissioning Policy for more details)
  • Cream 0.15% (£17.83 = 5g)
  • Solution 0.5% (£14.49 = 3.5ml)


  • Genital warts affecting the penis or the female external genitalia


  • Apply twice daily for 3 consecutive days; treatment may be repeated at weekly intervals if necessary for a total of four 3-day treatment courses


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