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What on Earth Is Cantharidin?

What on Earth Is Cantharidin?


While there are many options for wart removers, one that is not widely known about is cantharidin. Cantharidin is occasionally used to help remove warts but it is not a popular option. It’s also not currently approved by the FDA.

Cantharidin comes from the secretion of many blister beetles. This secretion has no odor or color. The cantharidin will cause the skin it is applied to blister and peel. For this reason, it can be used to treat a few skin problems. If applied by a doctor that fully understands the side effects this can have, the cantharidin can be used in a safe manner to help remove warts and molluscum.

While cantharidin can be used safely and effectively, it can have side effects on the person being treated with it. If applied to skin that is not where the wart resides, it can cause the person’s skin to blister which can be quite painful. Also, the cantharidin can be fatal if ingested. When ingested, there can be severe damage to the internal organs of the body, such as urinary tract and renal damage.

Another concern about cantharidin (something that spanish fly stuff is made from) is that the beetles that create this secretion will end up in the food that many horses east. The beetles may move into hay bales looking for a food source. If a horse then eats the bale of hay, they may ingest the beetles and become poisoned by the cantharidin.

While cantharidin has proven to be successful in the treating of warts and molluscum, there are risks to using this type of treatment method. If there are other methods available, it would be best to try those and save the cantharidin as a last resort. As it’s not approved by the FDA, it may be quite difficult to find a trained physician that can and will administer the cantharidin in a safe and effective manner.