Cantharone® is used by dermatologists for a variety of purposes. Most commonly, it is used to treat warts or molluscum contagiosum, especially in children.
What is Cantharone® and How Does it Work?
Cantharone® (canthardin) is a chemical derived from the blister beetle. When this liquid is applied to warts (or other skin growths), it causes a separation (and blister) in the skin. It works by breaking down the bonds that hold the skin cells together. The top layer of the blister peels off within 1-3 weeks and takes all or part of the original growth with it.
What are the Side Effects of Cantharone® Treatments?
- Treatments with cantharone® are painless, which is why this agent is often chosen for the treatment of children.
- Blisters typically develop 24 hours after treatment at the sites where the cantharone® was applied. Sometimes the areas scab slightly rather than blistering. The blisters can be uncomfortable
- Sometimes, scabbing leaves the skin lighter or darker than the surrounding skin. This is usually temporary.
- It is unusual, although not impossible, for treatments with cantharone® to cause scarring
How Should I Take Care of the Sites where my Child has been Treated with Cantharone®?
- Cantharone® must be washed off after application. It is very important to follow your dermatologist's instructions on when to wash the area with soap and water.
- If blisters develop they can be broken with a sterile needle, if desired.
- Protect the skin from the sun while it is healing (and always) by wearing sun-protective clothing or a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher