Warts - a skin problem that not many would confess to having! A wart can be a source of embarrassment for many, but it actually doesn't need to be.
Common warts (verruca vulgaris) are benign small, fleshy, rough raised lumps on the skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). If you have a wart, it is a sign that the virus has invaded your skin and sometimes your entire body. Warts can, however, be removed using home remedies.
You may develop a single wart or even a cluster of many. They usually appear on the hands, neck, and feet. They range in size from 1 mm to over 1 cm and may be flat, finger-like or like a cauliflower in structure.
Highly contagious, warts can easily be transferred by close skin contact or through contaminated objects or surfaces like a swimming pool.
While most warts are harmless and disappear with time, the duration of its stay on your skin may bother you to a great extent.
So, here are some ways to remove common warts using natural treatments:
- Method 1: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- Method 2: Use Banana Peel
- Method 3: Use Garlic
- Method 4: Use Duct Tape
- Method 5: Use Tea Tree Oil
- Method 6: Use Aspirin
- Tips to keep in mind
Method 1: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar a popular folk remedy attacks the affected area by peeling the wart off of the healthy skin.
Things you’ll need:
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV) - 2 tablespoons
- Water - 2 tablespoons
- Cotton ball
Step 1. Dilute apple cider vinegar with water
- Dilute 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in an equal portion of water.
Step 2. Apply the solution on the affected area
- Wash the affected skin thoroughly with water.
- Soak a cotton ball in the diluted solution and dab it on the affected area.
- Bandage or tape the area and leave it overnight, or at least for 20 minutes.
Repeat every day until the wart is completely gone. You can take a break for a day or two if you find the skin around the wart is becoming uncomfortable. Avoid rubbing the wart as this could spread them.
Method 2: Use Banana Peel
Banana peel contains proteinase or proteolytic, an enzyme that helps to remove common warts naturally. (1)
Things you’ll need:
- Fresh banana peel (helps soften and remove warts)
Wrap your wart with a banana peel
- Scrape off the white interior of the banana peel and apply the peel on the affected area.
- You may roll the peel around the wart, or cut a 1-inch piece of the peel to apply on the wart and secure with a bandage.
- Leave the peel in place for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Wash the area the next morning with soap and warm water and let your skin air-dry.
- Then, apply a clean bandage. During the day, keep changing the bandage after it gets moist.
Trim off the black and brown portions of the damaged wart every day using a nail trimmer or a pair of scissors.
You will observe changes in the size of your wart after 3 days of beginning the treatment. Your wart will disappear after 14 to 16 days of using the treatment.
Method 3: Use Garlic
Garlic contains oil that has antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties. The oil in garlic coats the wart, thus depriving it of oxygen and restricting the breeding ground of the virus.
Moreover, garlic has a caustic effect on the wart. (2) It attacks the flesh on the wart, thus causing it to blister and fall off within 1 week of application.
Things you’ll need:
- Garlic (crushed or minced) (restricts the breeding ground for warts)
Apply and secure garlic over the affected area
- Crush some garlic cloves and apply it directly over the affected area.
- Secure it in place with tape or a bandage and leave it on overnight.
Follow this treatment every night for 1 week to see the wart turning black and eventually falling off.
Method 4: Use Duct Tape
A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine stated that duct tape occlusion therapy was more effective than cryotherapy in the removal of common warts. (3)
- Simply cover the wart with duct tape and leave the tape on until it falls off.
- Once the tape falls off (or remove the wart manually after 6 days), soak the affected area in warm water and gently rub the wart surface down with a soft sponge or pumice stone.
- Allow it to air-dry, then cover the wart with fresh duct tape.
Repeat the treatment until the wart is gone, but not longer than 2 months.
Method 5: Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains antiseptic and antiviral properties that help coat and kill the virus causing warts. (4)
- Tea tree essential oil (kills the virus causing warts)
- Cotton ball
Step 1. Dilute tea tree oil with water
- Add a few drops of tea tree essential oil to 2 tablespoons of water.
Pure tea tree oil is extremely strong, so it is best to use it in diluted form.
Step 2. Apply the solution on the wart
- Soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply it on the wart. You will observe a slight change in the wart right after the first application.
Repeat the treatment 3 or 4 times a day for 2 weeks for faster relief from warts.
Method 6: Use Aspirin
Aspirin contains salicylic acid that works to soften the layers of skin that form the wart. (5)
- Aspirin (crushed) (heals the wart)
Step 1. Mix crushed aspirin with water
- Dissolve crushed aspirin in a very small amount of water to form a paste.
Step 2. Apply the paste on warts
- Apply the paste on the affected area, cover it with a bandage and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, gently rub a pumice stone on the softened portions of the wart to loosen and remove them. Then, wash it off using soap and water.
Use this method every day for a week to remove common warts using natural treatments.
Tips to keep in mind
- Do not touch or scratch your warts, as this spreads the infection.
- Cover your wart with a waterproof bandage or tape when swimming.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and soap several times throughout the day.
- Discard the pumice stone that you use for rubbing off the wart. Further use of the same stone may lead to the development of warts again.
- Warts are contagious; therefore, do not touch other people’s warts. Wash your hands thoroughly after interacting with someone who has warts.
- Be aware of any cuts or openings on your skin, as they allow the virus to enter your body more easily.
- The human papilloma virus flourishes in moist and warm areas. Therefore, keep your skin clean and dry.
- Kumar KPS, Duraivel, S, Umadevi M, Bhowmik D. Pharmacognosy. Pharmacognosy Journal. http://www.phytojournal.com/vol1Issue3/9.html. Published 2012.
- Pazyar N, Feily A. Garlic in dermatology - PubMed Central (PMC). Dermatology Reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4211483/. Published 2011.
- Focht 3 r, Spicer C, Fairchok MP. The efficacy of duct tape vs. cryotherapy in the treatment of verruca vulgaris (the common wart). Archives of Pediatrics &Adolescent Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12361440. Published October 2002.
- Orchard A, Vuuren Svan. Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/4517971/. Published May 4, 2017.
- What are the treatment options for warts? Informed Health Online. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279585/. Published May 4, 2017.
Summary of How to Remove Warts
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