FDA: Wart removers blamed for 14 fires

Some wart removers have caught on fire, burning patients' skin and even setting fire to their homes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday.

The FDA said 14 cases of wart removers catching on fire have been reported since 2009, which is cause for alarm at the agency.

ADVERTISEMENT
These fires have caused singed hair, blisters, burns and skin redness in some patients. While the FDA did not report any homes burning down entirely, the agency did note that items inside patients' homes have been destroyed.

"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 a statement. "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."

But this seems to be more of a problem for patients who administer wart removers on their own at home, whereas going to a doctor to seek treatment has proved safe, the FDA indicated.

Wart removers are a mixture of liquid dimethyl ether and propane, which tend to be highly flammable. The products are so cold that they freeze the warts off people's skin. 

Three of the wart fires were likely caused by a nearby candle, but the remaining fires seemed to have erupted spontaneously, the FDA noted.

The FDA made clear that medical companies had not broken any rules, because wart removal products all had warnings that they were highly flammable. 

More in Healthcare

FDA drug tracing regs start Jan. 1, health group asks for leniency

Read more »