Warts are harmless growths on the skin. They’re caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infections.
Warts are contagious. They can go away on their own, but it can take weeks, months, or years.
Conventional treatments include chemical peels, surgery, freezing, and laser surgery. These treatments can be expensive and cause skin irritation.
Another option is to try natural home remedies for warts.
Not for genital warts or warts on your face
If you have genital warts or warts on your face, do not try these remedies. The skin in these areas is extremely sensitive, so visit your doctor instead.
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A natural antiviral remedy might suppress HPV. Other remedies have enzymes that are said to work against the virus.
Some treatments contain natural acids that help remove infected skin. The goal of any treatment is to change your immune reaction to HPV. It won’t kill the virus, however, so warts may return.
People swear by it
Many home remedies have little or no reliable scientific evidence to back them up; however, individuals report success using them to remove warts.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is thought to work like salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a common wart treatment that peels away infected skin.
Vinegar also has natural antimicrobial properties that may help fight HPV, but more studies are necessary.
To try it, mix 2-parts apple cider vinegar and 1-part water. Soak a cotton ball with this mixture. Place it on the wart, and cover with a bandage. Leave it on for three to four hours.
Always dilute apple cider vinegar with water. The acidity may cause irritation and chemical burns. Also, don’t apply it on open wounds.
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The potassium in banana peel is rumored to fight HPV.
However, no research links potassium to the treatment of warts or viral skin infections. There also isn’t scientific evidence that banana peels fight HPV.
If you want to try it, rub the inside of a banana peel on the wart. Repeat daily.
Garlic, a traditional home remedy
Garlic has a long history of being used to heal skin conditions like psoriasis, keloid scars, and corns. It’s also used for bacterial, fungal, and viral infections such as warts. In a 2014 study, garlic extract got rid of warts within four weeks. The warts didn’t come back.
Allicin, the main component of garlic, has microbial effects. It works by destroying enzymes in harmful pathogens.
To treat warts with garlic, crush up 1 clove and mix it with water. Apply to the wart and cover with a bandage. Repeat daily for three to four weeks. You can also apply garlic juice or rub a clove on the wart.
Another popular wart remedy is orange peel. It’s an inexpensive option, but there isn’t scientific data to back it up.
This remedy includes rubbing an orange peel on the wart once a day. Supposedly, the wart will change color, darken, then fall off. This may take two weeks or more.
Pineapple has bromelain, a mixture of enzymes that digests proteins. It’s believed that bromelain removes warts by dissolving proteins in HPV. While there’s some data to support the potential effectiveness of bromelain in treating a few medical conditions, there aren’t any scientific studies to support its use to remove warts.
People have reported success removing warts using pineapple juice in several ways. One method is to soak the wart in pineapple juice every day. Another technique is to apply fresh pineapple daily.
People claim that potato juice can “dehydrate” a wart, but no studies exist regarding its effectiveness.
To try this method, cut a small potato in half. Rub the cut side on the wart until it’s covered in potato juice. Repeat twice a day.
Many people think of dandelion as a pesky weed. However, ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine uses dandelion for its medicinal properties. Dandelion milk, or sap, is a traditional remedy for skin diseases like warts.
A 2011 animal study found that dandelion extract may support collagen production, decrease skin inflammation, and soothe irritation. A 2012 study also determined that dandelions have antimicrobial components. These properties may be useful for fighting warts, but more human research is needed.
To try this method, break apart a dandelion and squeeze out the sticky white sap. Apply to the wart once or twice a day. Repeat for two weeks.
Never use dandelions that have been sprayed with chemicals.
People use aloe vera gel for skin conditions like burns and psoriasis. If your wart is itchy or painful, the gel may provide relief.
Aloe vera gel can also fight pathogens, including viruses. A2016 study found that it works against herpes simplex virus type 1, but no studies exist on the specific benefits for HPV.
To use aloe, remove a leaf from an aloe vera plant. Apply the gel on the wart. Repeat daily.
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Aspirin may also get rid of warts. Its main ingredient is salicylic acid, a common ingredient in over-the-counter wart treatments.
Salicylic acid works by peeling away the infected skin. Over time, this removes the wart.
Aspirin is thought to have a similar effect. The suggested method is to crush aspirin tablets and mix with water. Apply the paste on the wart and cover with a bandage overnight.
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Clear nail polish
Clear nail polish is an anecdotal wart remedy. It’s said to “suffocate” the virus, but there isn’t hard evidence on its effectiveness.
At the very least, clear nail polish can act as a protective coating.
The method involves coating the wart with clear nail polish. Some people do this every other day, while others do it two or three times a day.
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Vitamin C has immune-boosting properties. This vitamin is also essential for wound healing and healthy skin tissue. It’s thought to fight HPV, but more reliable evidence is needed.
To try it, crush up a vitamin C tablet and mix it with water. Apply the paste to the wart, cover with a bandage, and leave overnight. Repeat daily.
Some people claim that lemon juice and vitamin C make a more effective paste. This could be from the acidity of lemon juice. Lemon juice may cause skin irritation, so use it with caution.
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Another home remedy for warts is vitamin E. This nutrient is vital for a healthy immune system. It’s thought to improve your body’s reaction to HPV, but there aren’t any studies to support this claim.
You can puncture a vitamin E capsule and apply the oil to the wart. Protect the wart with a bandage and keep it on overnight. Repeat daily for two weeks.
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Honey bees produce resin-like substance called propolis. It’s made of plant substances, beeswax, pollen, and bee enzymes.
Bees offer wart relief
Research suggests that Propolis has antimicrobial properties and promotes skin cell production. It’s used to treat acne, wounds, and the herpes simplex virus. These benefits may also help heal infected skin and fight HPV.
To use propolis, apply it on the wart. Place a bandage on top and leave overnight. Repeat daily.
You can also consume propolis for an immunity boost. This may help your body get rid of the wart.
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Castor oil is an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory remedy. It’s used as a natural remedy for warts, ringworm, dandruff, and other skin conditions.
Apply castor oil on the wart every day. It might take two or more weeks for the wart to fall off.
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Duct tape is one of the most popular home remedies for warts. It’s inexpensive and easy to find. Duct tape is said to remove the infected skin over time.
The research on duct tape’s effectiveness is outdated. A 2002 study found that duct tape is more effective than freezing, but a conflicting 2007 study suggested that duct tape isn’t any better. New and updated research is necessary.
To use duct tape, stick a small piece on the wart. Remove it every three to six days. Soak the wart in water and scrub it with pumice stone or emery board. Leave it uncovered for 10 to 12 hours. Repeat the process.
If you have sensitive skin, use duct tape with caution. It may cause redness, irritation, and bleeding.
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Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a powerful antimicrobial remedy. It’s used to treat skin conditions like acne, athlete’s foot, and other skin infections. The oil’s antiviral properties may also help get rid of warts.
Some methods suggest applying tea tree oil on the wart, but undiluted oil can cause skin irritation. Always dilute it first.
To do so, combine 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil with 12 drops of a carrier oil, like almond oil or castor oil.
Add 3 to 4 drops of this mixture on a cotton ball. Place it on the wart for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat two or three times a day.
If you experience irritation, you might need to dilute it even more.
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Warts usually go away on their own. Natural home remedies for warts may help speed up the process.
Most treatments aren’t backed by evidence-based research. However, some people claim that these remedies have worked for them.
Always do a patch test first. Even natural treatments can cause skin irritation.
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