What Is It Used For?
Squaric acid is a topical medication used to treat various skin conditions, including warts, alopecia areata, verruca vulgaris (warts) and allergic contact dermatitis. It has been in use for many years and is known for its efficacy in treating these conditions. In 2017 there was a study, Immunotherapy of Recurrent Herpes Labialis With Squaric Acid, that has promising data at reducing the frequency and severity of herpes labialis (cold sores) outbreaks.
How It Works
Squaric acid works by stimulating an immune response in the skin. It is believed to activate T cells and cytokines, which can help fight off the abnormal cells responsible for causing the skin conditions it is used to treat.
How It's Applied
Squaric acid can be applied in several ways including applying it directly to the affected area,or to the upper arm where it triggers an immune response. Typically squaric acid is made as a solution that ranges between 0.5% to 5%, depending on the condition being treated. The solution is applied directly to the skin and left on for a specified period of time, before being washed off.
Applying squaric acid to the upper arm is a common method of administering the medication Typically, a healthcare provider will dilute the squaric acid solution to a specific concentration based on the patient's individual needs and the condition being treated.
To apply squaric acid to the upper arm, the healthcare provider will clean the area with an alcohol swab and then use a dropper or cotton swab to apply a small amount of the diluted solution to a dime sized area of the skin. The provider may also use a protective barrier, such as petroleum jelly or tape, to prevent the squaric acid from spreading to other areas of the skin.
After the squaric acid is applied, the patient may experience a mild to moderate skin reaction, which is the desired effect in treating certain skin conditions. The reaction may include redness, swelling, and itching, and typically lasts for a few days. If a rash occurs applying a small amount of hydrocortisone 1% will be enough to treat it. Over time, the treatment may help to stimulate hair regrowth or improve the appearance of other skin conditions.
What to Watch Out For
Squaric acid can be quite irritating to the skin, particularly in higher concentrations. It may cause redness, itching, and burning sensations, which can be uncomfortable. Additionally, it may not be suitable for use in certain individuals, such as those with sensitive skin or certain medical conditions.
Natural Supplements for Antivirals
Lysine - is an essential amino acid that has been studied for its potential antiviral properties. It is believed to help prevent the replication of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that causes cold sores and genital herpes.
For the treatment of cold sores: A typical dosage is 1,000 mg of lysine taken three times daily during an outbreak.
For the prevention of cold sores: A typical dosage is 1,000 mg of lysine taken daily to help prevent outbreaks.
For the treatment of genital herpes: A typical dosage is 1,000 mg of lysine taken three times daily during an outbreak.
For the prevention of genital herpes: A typical dosage is 1,000 mg of lysine taken daily to help prevent outbreaks.
Zinc - Zinc has been shown to have antiviral activity against several viruses, including herpes simplex virus. It may also help to boost the immune system. The recommended dosage of zinc for managing herpes outbreaks is typically 30-50 milligrams per day, taken with food.
Red marine algae - Red marine algae, also known as Carrageenan, is a type of seaweed that has been studied for its potential to inhibit the replication of the herpes virus. The recommended dosage of red marine algae for managing herpes outbreaks is typically 600-1200 milligrams per day, taken in divided doses
Lemon balm - Lemon balm is a herb that has been used traditionally for its antiviral properties. It has been studied for its potential to reduce the frequency and duration of herpes outbreaks. The recommended dosage of lemon balm for managing herpes outbreaks is typically 300-600 milligrams per day, taken in divided doses.
Propolis - Propolis is a resinous substance produced by bees. It has been studied for its potential to inhibit the replication of the herpes virus and reduce the duration and severity of herpes outbreaks. The recommended dosage of propolis for managing herpes outbreaks is typically 500-1000 milligrams per day, taken in divided doses.
It is important to note that squaric acid is a potent medication that should only be used under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare provider. Before using squaric acid, it is important to discuss your medical history and any current medications with your healthcare provider to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for you to use. They can also provide guidance on the proper application and use of the medication to help minimize the risk of side effects.
Weinkle, A. P., Dokko, J. K., & Sadeghpour, M. (2017). A Comprehensive Approach to the Anatomy of the Aging Face. JAMA dermatology, 153(8), 745-746. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.1182